Dance in Museums

BRINGING MUSEUM COLLECTIONS TO LIFE

Flux Youth Dance Residency – Isambard Community School
May to December 2007

A project to provide a creative transition for Year 6 pupils making the change from Primary to Secondary School, commissioned by Swindon Dance and Artsmad. Themed around Swindon’s past, present and future, students used posters, photographs and artefacts from the Great Western Railway Museum ‘STEAM’ as inspiration to create their dance.

The resulting piece ‘Work Hard Play Hard’ was premiered at the Artsmad festival, and having used Swindon’s steam heritage as a stimulus, the group was invited to perform the piece again at the Steam Museum open weekend in December.

Flux Youth Dance Project

Helen Orford, Steam’s Education Manager, commented, “It was the most wonderful interpretation inspired by the history of the GWR that I have seen in the ten years I have worked here. I recognised endless images, stories and posters with which I have become so familiar over the years”.

For more information about Michael’s work with the Flux programme, please see their website:

Sardines Youth Dance Project – September to Dec 2006

In collaboration with the London Transport Museum, RPM delivered a unique education project for pupils from East Acton Primary School and Twyford CE High School. Using themes of bringing posters to life and the Underground shelterers of WW2, pupils worked from evocative posters, maps and archive photography to create their dances.

The workshops were linked to the National Curriculum in both PE and History with cross-curricular links to Music, Art & Design. Through the workshops, performances and a photo exhibition at City Hall, the project helped raise awareness of the Museum’s collections.

Both schools presented their dances at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, alongside the RPM show ‘Sardines’. More than 60 pupils performed, for many of them, their first experience of performing on stage to a live audience! East Acton Primary School also performed in the Festival of Youth Arts, held at the Rich Mix cultural foundation.

The project was funded by Renaissance London, Museums Libraries Archives Partnership, Transport for London’s Safety & Citizenship programme and London Underground.

Sardines Youth Dance Project at Twyford High

Students comments about taking part…

"The best thing about Sardines was the moves were really cool and I think it was a great idea to perform at Riverside – it made everybody feel quite confident. I had great fun!"
"I felt like a million dollars performing and having an audience watch you – it’s great!"
"The best thing about Sardines was how we brought the pictures to life and I liked the way that we mixed modern to old."

Article about Flux from Swindon Advertiser(Click to enlarge)

Article about Sardines from Ealing Gazette(Click to enlarge)