In the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, artists and organisations across our region have adapted how they bring their work to us. Here is a snapshot and celebration of some of the fantastic work happening online and in person in Leeds and the surrounding areas, and how you can get involved.
From online and socially distanced classes, to podcasts and digital performances, there is plenty of activity happening across our region in lockdown.
Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Northern School of Contemporary Dance have launched online community classes for people of all ages and abilities, including Children’s Classes (5-12 years), Youth Classes (12-18 years) and Adult Classes (Improvers/Advanced Technique and Choreography & Performance), so now you don’t have to leave your home to access their world-class training.
Yorkshire Dance are delivering a range of dance activities that you can get involved with from home. From creating your very own screen dance in the FRESH Challenge, to online classes for the over 55s (Dance On) and families (Saturday Superstars) there’s lots to choose from.
Yorkshire Dance’s Leaps and Bounds tutors have also been hard at work creating a four part series exploring the natural world and universe. Follow along with these inclusive videos to learn how to create your own improvised routine.
Northern Ballet have continued to deliver weekly sessions for their Ability, In Motion and Dance for Parkinson’s groups online during lockdown. The Academy of Northern Ballet have also been releasing free ballet training videos on their Facebook page weekly.
If you’re looking to get your ballet fix whilst theatres are closed, the Company has also released some of their work digitally as part of their Pay as You Feel Digital Season. This has included: new digital dance film EGO (created before lockdown); short ballet For an Instant; Dracula and Little Red Riding Hood available on BBC iPlayer; and excerpts from new ballet Geisha and their 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala.
During lockdown, core partner Leeds Playhouse have hosted regular Zoom sessions, making phone calls and sending resources to: People Living with Dementia; young people with learning disabilities and their families; refugees and asylum seekers; young people attending alternative education; and schools.
The Playhouse has delivered over 200 lockdown creative craft activities and interactive storytelling videos for their female refugee choir Asmarina Voices to share with their children, plus video resources sent to partner schools and over 100 calls to participants.
DAZL have continued to focus on improving the mental and physical wellbeing of young people in Leeds throughout lockdown through many different initiatives.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, DAZL are offering free 30 minute Facebook Live and Zoom dance classes with dance artist Mason Jubb, plus an online 10 week dance fitness programme for families. Find out more.
They have also been leading on GARDEN Groovers, a socially distanced doorstep dance programme funded by Leeds Inspired, Leeds Public Health and Leeds Community Foundation as a complementary offer to DAZL’s Food Bank and distribution work. GARDEN Groovers reaches communities across the city and is being replicated in four primary schools.
RJC Dance have continued to provide online classes for their students, available on their YouTube channel. They have also put together this fantastic video, Where U R, featuring teachers and students dancing in lockdown.
South Asian Arts-uk have created the Generation 21 podcast, a series of thought-provoking interviews sharing questions and answers on the classical Indian music and dance industry. The first six episodes are available to download from all major podcast apps.
Our neighbours in Bradford Mind the Gap have created
Humans of MTG, an online campaign celebrating the people they have worked with over the past few years and beyond inspired by the Twitter account Humans of Theatre.