Hundreds of dancers taking part in virtual festival

An online celebration of the artform takes place in the borough this week with talented performers showcasing their skills.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 4:45 am
Wigan Borough Dance Festival takes place this week. Photo by Owen Peters
Wigan Borough Dance Festival takes place this week. Photo by Owen Peters

Wigan Borough Dance Festival, co-ordinated by community interest company (CIC) WigLe Dance, brings together primary and secondary school pupils, community groups, dance schools and professional artists.

There will be workshops, performances for families and friends and events hailing everything that is best about the art of dance.

READ MORE: Ex-rugby league star tackles mental health issues with fitness app.This is the fourth year the festival has been held but it will be a virtual edition as the country slowly recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Hundreds of dancers are in the virtual festival. Photo by Owen Peters

WigLe Dance founder Amy Burdon said: “After a really tough year, we are excited to be bringing the Wigan Borough Dance Festival back for the fourth year in a row.

“This year the dance festival will be completely digital, including livestreams, a new website and a digital dance trail around the borough.

“Last year we were very lucky because the dance festival was at the end of February so we just got it in as a live event before the pandemic.

“We knew we wanted the 2021 event to go ahead in some way but it would have to be digital.

School pupils are taking part in the dance festival. Photo by Owen Peters

“We’ve been working with schools and groups since restrictions eased in April.

“It has been a lot of hard work because we’ve had to film and edit the performances but there is some really high-quality work which we are excited to showcase.”

Organisers say this year’s dance festival will be the biggest one yet, involving 800 children and young people, 38 new dance films, 20 schools and community groups, nine young producers, half a dozen up-and-coming choreographers and six professional artist commissions.

Dance workshops are taking place at WigLe Dance’s base on Railway Road in Leigh and online throughout the week and the official launch event takes place today (Wednesday).

Live performance showcases will then be streamed on Thursday and Friday.

Highlights include Pit Brow Lasses, a newly-commissioned work by Amber Calland and Daisy Howell exploring Wigan’s Industrial Heritage and celebrating the famous women who worked at the collieries which was filmed at the Lancashire Mining Museum at Astley Green.

Children from Hindsford Primary School have been working with WigLe Dance to learn Northern Soul inspired routines while young choreographer Erin Kelly has created a piece called No Roots which features the newly-refurbished Leigh Town Hall.

The festival is being funded by Wigan Council and Arts Council England (ACE) and is a partnership between WigLe Dance CIC, Hawk Dance Theatre and Blaze Arts.

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