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In June 2014 Helen Parlor artistically directed, with assistant directors Chris Bradley and Effie McGuire Ward, the first ever MÓTUS dance festival run through Arts Gateway MK and supported by the Arts Council England, Milton Keynes Council, Milton Keynes Gallery and the Milton Keynes Community Foundation.

The two day festival running over the 28-29 June commissioned six new pieces of work to be created by professional choreographers on groups in both Milton Keynes and beyond to perform work in the festival. These commissions included:

  • Graduate dance commission choreographed by Stuart Waters (Protein, Wired Aerial, Panta Rei Danseteater, Motionhouse) working with graduates from across the UK.
  • Street dance commission by Andy Instone from Urban Strides working with students from Summerfield School, Milton Keynes.
  • Parlor Dance commission working with students from Samuel Whitbred Academy, Sharnbrook and Redbourne school.
  • Contact improvisation and aerial commission led by dance artist Vanessa Cook; working with professionals and dance enthusiasts from across Milton Keynes.
  • Youth Dance commission by Chris Bradley; who runs Initiate a new youth dance company in Milton Keynes.
  • Motionhouse dance professional commission www.motionhouse.co.uk

On the 28 June performances took place in Margaret Powell’s Square, despite the rain (!), from midday to early evening.

On the 29 June the festival moved to The Venue theatre, part of Walton High School, where it hosted six workshops and ran both matinee and evening performances plus a work in progress event. Companies included Theo Clinkard with his work Chalk and Of Land and Tongue which was performed in the round, Two Thirds Sky, RDC a newly formed youth company from Birmingham, Anjali, Ffin Dance Company and Dexterity Dance.

In total MÓTUS engaged:

77 Artists

152 participants

767 audience members

6000 online audience

MÓTUS continues to run regular work in progress events and a workshop programme; please join the MÓTUS facebook group to keep informed: https://www.facebook.com/motusdancefestival

Please get in touch if you wish to be involved!!