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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Streets of Glasgow to come alive with dance and light asMhZ present STRUT Dance International Glasgow.

Residents of Govanhill and Pollokshields are invited to enjoy an outdoor procession of local dance heroes and stunning large-scale projections from their doorsteps and windows.

 Dance styles represented include Bhangra, Salsa, Romani, Hip-Hop and

Contemporary with dancers recruited via a public call out.

 The production has been curated by local theatre makers MHz for the Dance International Glasgow Festival.

DATES: Pollokshields: Thursday 7 October 2021, 7pm – 8pm FREE

Govanhill: Sunday 10 October 2021, 7pm – 8pm, FREE

Available online following first performance - 7 October from 10pm

Neighbours are invited to come together as the streets of Glasgow light up with music, dance and projections this Autumn as MHz present STRUT as part of Dance International Glasgow. An evening parade will feature five local dance heroes, recruited by a local callout in Govanhill and Pollokshields, who will perform personal choreographies reflecting the energy of the neighbourhood in their own styles which include Bhangra, Salsa, Romani, Hip- Hop and contemporary dance.

The dance procession will be partnered with stunning large scale projections, mapped onto buildings which local residents audiences to encounter from their windows and doorsteps and others can watch on livestream. The rotating parade will weave through the streets, giving spectators time to watch several dances. Local residents are invited to show their appreciation by cheering, flickering their lights and waving to their neighbours, bringing a community back together through dance.

The dancers taking part were recruited by an open call and selected with the help of a community panel, and most of them are performing publicly for the first time. The performers include:

 21 year old dancer Nathan McGarvey who grew up in Govanhill and specialises in Animation performing a mixture of waving, popping, locking and isolation

 16 year old self taught dancer Joshua Macmillan has been dancing with his 5 siblings since the age 5 in their flat and on the corner of his street in Govanhill where he practices Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary and Gymnastics

 Bellydance and Latin dance entusiastNancy Jacinto (33) has a strong family connection to Govanhill and orginally hails from Mexico.

 Uncle and Nephew duo Rudi (44) and Mexico (10) Rostas are both originally from

Romania and will perform a Traditional Roma Dance that has been passed down through the generations of their family

 Sarabjit Aujla (known as Seema) is a swimming instructor who teaches dance in schools and nurseries, volunteers at the local Gudwara in Pollokshields and has a radio show on Awaz FM. Seema will perform Bollywood and Bhangra dance as part of STRUT.

STRUT was born out of the need to create work that resonates with the era of social distancing as arts venues have closed their doors and many companies’ ongoing touring work has been cancelled or postponed. The creative team at MHz started to witness social media posts of dance artists and musicians across the globe taking it upon themselves to find ways to perform to their neighbours in streets and roads devoid of traffic and pedestrians, with audiences delighted to watch from their windows a spectacle of hope, joy and resilience. With the global trend for viral dance routines becoming a way for people to connect across cultures and geographical locations MHz were inspired to consider how they could create a context to celebrate the dance heritage of their neighbourhood. Finding innovative and safe ways to bring real-life performance back to audiences and re-ignite the joy of face-to-face participation.

The performance will premiere at Tramway’s Festival Dance International Glasgow on the 7th and 10th October on the streets of Pollokshields and Govanhill where Co-Directors Bex Anson and Dav Bern ard (Co-Directors) have been residents for the past 20 years:

”We have worked together for the last 16 years, creating multi-artform participatory outdoor events such as dance shows under motorways, sculpture parks in wastegrounds, Agit-prop street theatre, mayday protests and free parties, where dancing in the streets have often

been a central component.”

”We always collaborate with new artists and love to enlist non-professionals in our productions, either through open-calls or chance encounters in our neighbourhoods of Govanhill and Pollokshields where we've lived for 2 decades.”

Community dancer Seema says: “I’m excited to join Strut on this unique project. I have always performed on stages, so performing on the road will be a unique experience for me. Dav and Bex’s enthusiasm for this project is infectious and we have had a blast during rehearsals. I love dance because it keeps me fit, focused, positive and connected to my culture.”

STRUT harnesses the power of freestyle dance as a universal expression of freedom, joy and sense of belonging. It will support our community to move beyond a pandemic mindset igniting and strengthening social imagination. Establishing meaningful points of connection between neighbours and a celebration of Govanhill and Pollokshields dynamic community spirit.

STRUT is part of Dance International Glasgow (DIG), a city-wide biennial dance festival curated and hosted by Tramway which was founded in 2015 and is now in its fourth iteration. For four weeks in October the festival animates and enlivens the urban canvas of Glasgow with ground-breaking contemporary dance performances, installations, participatory arts opportunities, and artist development initiatives. DIG embraces an expanded notion of choreography and challenges preconceived notions of what dance ‘can be’.

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