Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Dancing Outdoors in Castlefield

Standard YouTube Licence

Castlefield is where Manchester began. It is where we meet to celebrate and commiserate. I remember doing a little bit of both before a big screen one late summer evening in 1993 as we waited for the International Olympic Committee to weigh our bid to host the 2000 Olympics against those of Beijing and Sydney (see Manchester lost 2000 Olympics to Sydney 'because of arrogance and old buffers 18 June 2019 BBC).

Last night we celebrated moving, being outdoors and being together.  All around me were dear friends and acquaintances including our teacher Karen Sant whom I had not seen for15 months. Covid 19 has done a lot of mischief but it has also helped us appreciate things that we had previously taken for granted like friendship and simply being alive.

We wore trainers and plimsolls rather than ballet shoes.  We were in jeans, shorts or tracksuits instead of leotards,  We did warm-ups, pliés, tendus, glissés, ronds de jambe, fondus and grands battements withut a barre.   Then tendus in the centre, followed by an adagio, warm up jumps, temps levés and cooldown.   We had an audience that applauded our pliés until an acrobat somersaulting across the Canal Basin like an express train grabbed spectators attention.

There are outdoor classes at Castlefield in different genres of dance several evenings a week.  If you can't attend those classes you can still take part in KN T Danceworks' online ones or "on-demand" ones,  You need to register at:

and then select a class from "upcoming classes."   There is a video at which shows you what to do.   If you attend one of those outdoor classes you will experience ballet in a way that you have never done before.   I don't know whether it will be possible for Karen to continue these classes when we return to the Dancehouse but I hope she will offer a few every year just to commemorate this time.  They are definitely one of the positives of this pandemic.

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