New Landscape for East London

Dancing landscapes

East London Dance has joined with Westfield Stratford City to create an arts project aimed at capturing iconic dance images of the changing landscape in Stratford, East London.

The project, ‘Dancing Landscapes’, took place on the 1.9m sq ft Westfield Stratford City site with dancers from East London Dance’s various dance groups including; Limitless Dance, Brink Dance, The Firm, members from weekly adult classes and Leap of Faith – the over 50’s dance group.

The iconic images were captured by celebrated arts and theatre photographer, Hugo Glendinning who said:

“It has been a great opportunity to have access to the Westfield Stratford City site and to animate the urban landscapes with the wonderful local dance talent. The pictures capture the story of the current changing landscapes in Stratford, but it is the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of the dancers that shines through. They make me optimistic about the new Stratford and excited about the Games in 2012.”

Further dance projects were carried out at the Greenway, Stratford Shopping Centre, Stratford Town Hall and Stratford Church.

Limitless youth dancers at Westfield Stratford City in what will become the Marks & Spencer’s department store. The bridge will lead from Marks & Spencer’s to the main Westfield Stratford City mall.

The ‘Dancing Landscapes’ project is the first phase of a wider programme ‘City Landscapes – Dancing Portraits’ aimed at capturing a series of imagery of the communities of Newham dancing. The second phase of the programme ‘Dancing Voices’ will focus on dance as a means of non-verbal communication and the diverse ‘dance’ languages represented in the borough of Newham.

Kiki Gale, Director, East London Dance said: ”We are very grateful to Westfield for commissioning this fascinating public arts programme with us. It has provided a real opportunity to get our dancers involved and interested in the regeneration of Stratford, and allowing them access to the Westfield site has truly put them at the heart of what is to come. The images that Hugo has captured show the spirit and creativity of the East and capture the sense of excitement for the future of Stratford and East London.”

Limitless youth dancers Antoine Murray-Trauthan, Patience Agbo and Franqui Radford-Mathurin said: “It has been a really interesting experience to dance in such diverse locations and to meet the other dancers at East London Dance, such as Leap of Faith. It was an opportunity for us to come together. And to be photographed by a professional photographer was a really amazing experience. Seeing our dancing in the pictures actually helps us improve.”

John Burton, Director, Westfield Stratford City said: “The ‘City Landscapes – Dancing Portraits’ project is one of a series of local community programmes in which we are involved to support the fantastic creative talent in East London. By choosing iconic locations in Stratford for the project it has encouraged the dancers to consider their present environment, and by also enabling them to dance on our site, it has given them a vision of Stratford’s future. The series of portraits is an innovative way to record our involvement with the local community and our relationship with them as we move towards our opening in 2011.”

For further information on Westfield Stratford City community programmes, visit www.westfield.com/stratfordcity.community

Photos: Hugo Glendinning. Design: Hot Pepper Design