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Five Generations Share Dance Passion

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5generationsFive generations of dancers, from left, Scarlett Scott, Becki Scott, Yvonne Price, Elsie Smith and Principal of Dansworks Dance Academy in Bacup Karen Roe.

FIVE generations of the same family are all dancing at a Bacup dance academy. Principal of Dansworks Dance Academy Karen Roe has been joined by her daughter and granddaughter, her mother and grandmother. The newest family member Scarlett Scott is only two but is already following in her grandmother Karen’s footsteps as she joins her mum Becki in Dance Tots. She also takes part in three classes on a Saturday – tap and ballet, street dance and musical theatre. Karen’s grandmother Elsie Smith is the matriarch and keeps fit at mature movers where she is joined by her daughter Yvonne Price.

Yvonne said “I also do tap and was in the zumba class until work prevented me from attending. I like being taught by my daughter because she is a good teacher. I used to dance when I was very small and but I wanted to be on the stage and was not too keen on the lessons. I fell down the stairs about 10 years ago and hurt my legs. We bought a bungalow because I couldn’t even get up the stairs anymore. I was gradually getting worse and worse and couldn’t walk properly then I started dancing and look at me now.”

Yvonne chaperoned Dansworks dancers on a trip to Malta next year when they will join in the annual show with the academy’s twin Dance College Studios.Great-great-grandmother Elsie joined the dance school in 2011 but from the age of 40 was a ballroom dancer. “Coming to the classes means I get to meet people and I always feel better afterwards; it is good to exercise,” said Elsie.

Dansworks opened in January 2008 and has been based in Pioneer Buildings since 2010.

Karen said: “It is lovely to have the five generations dancing here together and I already have great aspirations for my granddaughter.”

If you are an aspiring dancer, or would like to know more about Dansworks classes, contact 01706 559671 or visit www.dansworks.co.uk

Story and Photo By Catherine Smyth Media http://www.catherinesmyth.co.uk/

 

 

 

Bacup Royal Court Theatre Inspires Sean Ruane’s Journey To Success

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The Bacup Royal Court Theatre, through its Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (BAODS), was the first taste of performing for International Opera Star Seán Ruane. He started his journey into opera with Rossendale’s St Mary’s Players, where he experienced both acting and singing, and identified his true love of singing through his time with BAODS. Before the Internet, Sean recognised the importance of Bacup library as a source of information for music. Seán completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, and is one of the rising stars of the opera world, whose breathtaking vocal artistry comes with an endearing, easygoing style that has allowed him to grace grand opera, TV and sporting arenas with ease. Equally at home performing in front of the cognoscenti of Covent Garden or fervent football fans at Wembley.

sean-ruane-england-game-wembleySeán Ruane at Wembley Stadium

Seán founded Chant Productions  in 2011 with the aim of combining sports and music by using sports stadia as theatres for young people.

Working with schools from the Blackpool, Blackburn and Bury areas, CHANT  produced a choir of children over 240 strong to perform at last years Children in Need. Singing ‘I’ll Stand by You’ the children performed live at Blackpool Tower Circus infront of a live audience of fundraisers and  millions of viewers at home.

Children in Need 2014

The children were both entertained by the circus acts and did some entertaining themselves as they warmed up for their big performance. Encouraging audience participation they sang Rather Be and Sing along with ‘I Like The Flowers’ lead by the Choir Master Dan McDwyer and our Creative Director Sean Ruane.

For further information on the work of CHANT Productions, check out their web site at http://www.chantproductions.co.uk

There are opportunities for you to realise your potential. For further information on BAOBS and Bacup Royal Court Theatre, why not check out their web site at http://www.bacuproyalcourttheatre.com

Get inspired at http://www.rossendalecan.wordpress.com

Maltese Twinning Relationship Inspires Young Bacup Dancers

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show-maltaStudents from Dansworks Dance Academy in Bacup and Dance College Studios in Malta performing on stage in Sliema.

Dansworks Dance Academy, based in the Pioneer Building, Bacup, formed a link with Dance College Studios in Sliema in 2013. Principal Karen Roe said: “We took nine girls and one boy aged 12 to 15 and we went to dance in the annual show held by Dance College Studios.

“We left at 2am and when we arrived in Malta the dancers had about half an hour to unpack before they were taking part in a dress rehearsal for the show, which was held on two nights.

“They were so excited and enjoyed the whole experience. It was a great cultural exchange for the young dancers and something to put on their CV.

“They have all made really good friends and keep in touch with each other over social network Facebook.

“We do different styles of dance, Dance College Studios perform commercial and street dance where as we do all different styles of dance from tap and ballet to musical theatre and modern jazz as well as street dance.”

The two groups of dancers performed a joint routine, which they had learnt for the Dansworks show in March held at Burnley Mechanics when the Maltese dance students visited England.

Dansworks also performed two individual numbers showing street tap and street dance skills.

The dancers also socialised together. There was a Saint’s festival so they enjoyed parades, firework displays and meals out and they also got to visit the capital city Valletta.

Business Manager Dale Connearn said: “There are Italian, Greek, English and Arabic influences both in the architecture in the city and the language. It is an amazing place.

“Events were organised to help offset the cost of the trip including a cake sale at Haslingden High School, bag packing at Tesco and a concert at The Riverside with the Royal Fusiliers.”

Dansworks was founded in 2008, moved into Pioneer Buildings 2010 and has up to 300 dancers on the register.

In October the academy’s annual Theatre Dance Festival will be held at Haslingden Primary School when hundreds of dancers from schools across the North West will be competing.

To find out more about Dansworks visit www.dansworks.co.uk, email info@dansworks.co.uk or contact 01706 559671.

Story by Catherine Smyth Media http://www.catherinesmyth.co.uk/

 

 

Dansworks Sponsor Cambodian Boy To Attend School

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john_snowJohn Chuon gets to play in the snow for the first time.

A FOUR-year-old Cambodian boy who can now attend school travelled more than 6,000 miles to say a personal thank you to his sponsor – a Bacup dance academy.

Dansworks Dance Academy based in the Pioneer Buildings, Bacup, has been sending money every month to For the Love of Cambodia – run by Christian missionary Christine Stacey, who used to live in Bacup.

The former high school teacher met Dansworks Principal Karen Roe-Connearn when she was a youth worker in Bacup and Karen attended the group.

It was after backpacking in Vietnam and Thailand in 2006 that Christine went into Cambodia and was moved by what she saw.

A year later she went to live in the country and set up a house so she could initially offer unmarried or single mothers and their babies a home so they could see that there was a better way of life than living in slums or on the streets.

Karen said: “I have known Christine since I came to live in Bacup in the 1980s.

“We saw that she was asking for sponsorship for John Chuon and we were delighted, as a business, to be able to support him.”

Christine began caring for John and his mother around the time of his birth.

She is now John’s legal guardian and also cares for his three-year-old brother Marko.

Karen said: “Christine had asked if we could go out to Cambodia; we never thought that John would be able to get a visa and come to visit us.

“Our sponsorship has helped to pay towards his nursery education and will help towards his schooling.”

Other families of Dansworks students also make regular donations towards John’s education fund and Karen is encouraging more to do so as just £1 a month can make a huge difference.

She said: “When he visited Dansworks with Christine we showed him around the studios and he enjoyed watching the dance lessons.”

Christine has five children, two sons Ben, in Crawshawbooth, and John in Essex, and three daughters, Julie who also lives in Cambodia while Asha is in Australia and Eleanor is in Thailand. She also has nine grandchildren.

She said: “When John knew he was coming over to England what he wanted to see was snow because he had never seen it before. Then when we were staying in Crawshawbooth it snowed and he got to build a snowman.

“He has around 20 different sponsors that help to pay for his schooling. As he speaks English, and has been brought up by me, it is better that he goes to the international school.

“When I went to Cambodia in 2006, I felt that the western world had let the country down and I came back home with a real desire to return. A year later I moved out there and have been living in Cambodia ever since.”

Christine also sharing her story in churches across Lancashire including at Goodshaw Baptist Church in Crawshawbooth.

To find out more about For the Love of Cambodia and how to help the organisation visit http://fortheloveofcambodia.org/ or like the Facebook page Homestay – for the love of Cambodia.

Story and Photo By Catherine Smyth Media http://www.catherinesmyth.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Realises His Dream Thanks To Valley Dance Centre

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Photo courtesy of Alastair Muir

11 year old Local Haslingden lad Henry Farmer has realised his dream by playing the lead character of Michael in the sellout musical ‘Billy Elliot’ which is currently running at Manchester’s Palace Theatre.

Henry joined the Rossendale Dance and Drama Centre in Waterfoot while at Haslingden Primary School and trained in both dance and drama. At his audition, the production casting director  advised Henry to work on his dancing and acting, he enrolled for lessons with teachers from RDDC and as a result, he got the part and hasn’t looked back.

The Rossendale Cultural Arts Network (CAN)  is a newly formed collective of like-minded groups and individuals who appreciate the wealth of visual and performing arts talent that exists within the Rossendale Valley. The main objective of Rossendale CAN is to identify, develop, showcase and promote all of the amazing arts that exist within the Valley, and to encourage communication and collaboration between members.

Rossendale CAN is committed to highlighting, promoting and developing the Valley’s talent and already has a number of committed members and welcomes all visual and performing arts groups within the Valley, and acknowledges that there are still groups out there that have yet to be identified, and are looking to these groups to broaden the network’s scope. These include music, singing, comedy, brass bands, dance and theatre groups, of which we have many excellent examples in the Valley.

As an initial showcase of the Valley’s talent, Rossendale CAN will be featuring profiles of a number of arts groups and promoting their activities and raising its profile. Collaboration between groups is positively  encouraged, with a view to enhancing the scope of activities and performances throughout the network. Rossendale CAN believes that the more members the network, has the more effective the network will be. So if you are interested in joining the network, please email the Chair at b.hyde3@ntlworld.com.

If you think you have a talent and would like to develop it, why not contact one of the many dance and theatre groups within the Valley. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain.

For further information on Rossendale CAN, check out their blog at http://www.rossendalecan.wordpress.com

 

A Forgotten Irish Tale At The Whitaker

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As Part of the Rossendale Art Trail weekend,  The Whitaker is launching ‘Ammemorium – A Forgotten Rebel’s Tale’, an Exhibition of new work by John Hyatt and Sam Windrow on Friday 30th September from 7.oopm.The event will include the launch of John and Bams new book. The exhibition will run until Sunday 27th November.


The work focusses on a secret mission that took place in 1916 in the South of Ireland, and involving John and Sam’s grandfather. John and Sam have researched the historical sources and pieced together the story. They have represented the true tale in oil paintings by John and poems by Sam.

The exhibition includes further works by John on an Irish theme where the darker days of a hundred years ago are contrasted with a colourful cornucopia of rebirth and optimism.

For further information on the Rossendale Art Trail, go to http://www.rossendalecan.wordpress.com

A Sensational 2016 Season On Offer From The Rossendale Players

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The Rossendale Players have an excellent programme for their 2016/17 season. Here are details of what’s on offer:

We Are Three Sisters – 1st-8th October

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Against the backdrop of a dark, remote northern town, three remarkable young women live their lives brightly. Haworth 1840s, in a gloomy parsonage where there are neither curtains nor comforts, Charlotte, Anne and Emily Brontë light up their world with outspoken wit, aspirations, dreams and ideas. Anyone who has read a Brontë novel cannot fail to be stirred by their overwhelming humanity, charged emotion and brooding and prescient unease with the status quo. With exquisitely drawn characteristics, a nod to Chekhov and a touch of poetic license, this pearl of a play evokes with piercing clarity the life and distinct personalities of these three spirited individuals.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice – 26th November – 3rd December

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The play tells the story of a shy, reclusive girl nicknamed Little Voice and her larger than life out of control mother Mari. Desperately missing her dead father, Little Voice spends her time locked in her bedroom listening to his old record collection and perfecting astonishing impersonations of famous divas including Shirley Bassey, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Dusty Springfield. When Mari starts dating small-time club agent Ray Say, she thinks he’s her last chance for a better life. When Ray Say hears Little Voice sing, he thinks she’s his ticket to the big time. Little Voice just wants a normal life and to be loved. Not everyone is going to get what they want.

Kiss Me Like You Mean It – 4th – 11th February

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Is a celebration of love and life; it examines the nature of love, how it starts and then changes in the course of an enduring relationship. Chris Chibnall wrote the play when he was at the start of a relationship, hoping it would continue; two years later he was married to the girl who inspired the play. The title comes from song of the same name by The Magnetic Fields; Chris Chibnall is a great Northern Soul fan.

California Suite – 1st – 8th April

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Is a 1976 play by Neil Simon, which is a comedy set in Suite 203-04 of The Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s a play divided into four parts: Visitor from New York, Visitor from Philadelphia, Visitors from London and Visitors from Chicago. In ‘Visitor from New York’, Hannah, a magazine writer is joined by her ex-husband, the question being with whom should their daughter spend the next six months? The banter flies fast and furious but Hannah’s well-wrought artifice crumbles as her fears take hold. The ‘Visitor from Philadelphia’ is a wife who arrives at the suite, catching her husband with a drunken prostitute. ‘Visitors from London’ brings a British Academy Award nominee returning from the ceremony empty-handed to husband Sidney whose homosexuality will be no comfort. The ‘Visitors from Chicago’ are two couples ending a disastrous vacation they should not have shared.

Nightmare – 3rd – 10th June

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This drama by Norman Robbins sees Marion Bishop, an elderly writer who is dying.  Katherine Willis from the nearby village, looks after Marion while coping with her own mentally retarded brother of twenty.  When Katherine attends her cousin’s wedding in Scotland, experienced nurse Laura from London comes to take care of the failing writer, on the recommendation of the local doctor. A series of mysterious phone calls and the appearance of Marion’s nephew, sets off a nightmare situation, which becomes increasingly complicated when Katherine’s brother is found murdered in a ditch.  Deceit, suspicion, blackmail and incrimination are subtly woven into a web of crime, which is completed by a dramatic confrontation scene just before an ingenious twist brings a surprising end.

All tickets are £9, and for further information and tickets please ring 01706 228720. You can also get information from the web site at http://www.rossendaleplayers.org.uk

Rossendale Art Trail 2016 – Local Art At Its Best

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October brings back the successful Rossendale Art Trail, which this year will run over the weekend of 1st and 2nd October from 11.00am-5.00pm and entry is free.

This years trail brings together 33 local artists exhibiting in 14 venues around the valley (see map above). The artists exhibiting this year are  Emrys Morgan, John Hyatt, Sam Windrim, Geoff Butterworth, Jackie Sumerfield, Jefferson Conway, Alan Birch, Liam Spencer, Jill Randall, Mike Kelly, Eoin Kelly, Sarah Godchild, Ruth Evans, John Spedding, Runic John, Stan Cropper, Bob Nancollis, Dave Pearson, Robin Sharples, Chris Whiting, Fatima Zahra Hassan, Alexis Valentine, Stan Harland, Valerie Halliwell, Andrew J Holland, Vic Harris, Ruth Bullock, Paddy Campbell, Dee Mischka, Dave Tomlinson, Pamela Harrop, Loane Claxton, Alistair Sinclair Ness and Suzanne Worrall.

Prospect Studios will also be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Trust over the weekend, with visitors given the chance to buy a slice of cake and coffee to raise money. 5 boxes of prints with work from Liam, Alan and Jill will be raffled to add to MacMillan’s coffers. A selection of 20 prints from various studios will be for sale at £10. Prospect Studio will be open in the evening  from 5-7pm for friends and artist to chat, view work and eat cake, before heading to the Boo to be entertained. The Boo will be open on the Saturday night from 7pm with free music and bar.Music will be provided by various artists including Liam Spencer, Sarah Grundy and others.

For further information, you can pick up a programme from any of the venues or check out the Rossendale Art Trail Facebook page.

The Rossendale Players Celebrating 80 Years

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As they approach their 80th anniversary in October and their 300th production next year, The Rossendale Players feel that there is no better time to invite potential new members to join them in preparation for the new season. Every production this season has introduced new members on stage and behind the scenes joining established members who happily share their experience by supporting newcomers who are taking their first steps in this challenging and exciting pastime.

What the audience sees on stage is just the tip of a very substantial iceberg consisting of the many talents and abilities needed to ‘get the show on the road’ and give our audiences an evening of theatre, sharing laughter and tears and the excitement of a live show. Not only do the Players welcome new acting members every year but others who might have the skills needed to support productions. Typical talents involve set-building, lighting and sound, wardrobe,‘props’,hairdressing and make-up, all extremely essential skills and valued by members of the team. Front of House staff are also very important roles in help with publicity, ticket selling and tea and coffee servers to make the evening complete for the audiences.

There will be a Preview Night to be held on Tuesday 7th June at 7.30 at the New Millennium Theatre, when the 5 productions for the 2016/17 season will be announced, with directors giving a synopsis and details of casting and staging needs. Please feel free to come along. Anyone interested in membership or needing more information will be very welcome on the night or can ‘phone the Secretary, Lynda Birch (01706 213560) who will be happy to help.

For further information, why not check out their web site at http://www.rossendaleplayers.org.uk

Rossendale Cultural Arts Network Celebrating The Arts In Rossendale

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The Rossendale Cultural Arts Network (CAN)  is a newly formed collective of like-minded groups and individuals who appreciate the wealth of visual and performing arts talent that exists within the Rossendale Valley. The main objective of Rossendale CAN is to identify, develop, showcase and promote all of the amazing arts that exist within the Valley, and to encourage communication and collaboration between members.

Rossendale CAN is a constituted group, Chaired by Barry Hyde, Secretary Pete Sweetmore and Treasurer Romy Vear. The network currently has representatives from The Dansworks Academy, The Boo Theatre, The Whitaker Museum, The Bacup Royal Court Theatre, The Rossendale Players, The APNA Community Gallery and other members of the community, all committed to highlighting, promoting and developing the Valley’s talent.

Rossendale CAN welcomes all visual and performing arts groups within the Valley, and acknowledges that there are still groups out there that have yet to be identified, and are looking to these groups to broaden the network’s scope. These include music, singing, comedy, brass bands, dance and theatre groups, of which we have many excellent examples in the Valley.

As an initial showcase of the Valley’s talent, Rossendale CAN will be featuring profiles of a number of arts groups and promoting their activities through the month of June,  provide a great opportunity for those involved to stage performance, organise tours and run workshops to promote the activities of their group and use their event to showcase the expertise and talents existing within the group and raising its profile. Collaboration between groups is positively  encouraged, with a view to enhancing the scope of activities and performances throughout the network. Rossendale CAN believes that the more members the network, has the more effective the network will be. So if you are interested in joining the network, please email the Chair at b.hyde3@ntlworld.com.

You have nothing to loose and everything to gain.