Ullapool Dance Festival March 1-4
THE FESTIVAL IS ON
Embodied Spirituality: CANCELLED
Set in exceptionally wild and beautiful North West Highland scenery, our remote fishing village is famous for hosting great festivals. Now in our seventh year, we bring an exciting chance for beginners, experienced dancers and professionals to be immersed in dance.
Scotland's Indian dance company Dance Ihayami open the festival on March 1st with their latest work 'Silent Space', a fusion of traditional and contemporary Indian Dance.
The company will also teach a range of enjoyable and energetic workshops during the festival which provide for beginners, regular dancers and professionals. They are even throwing in a class in Bollywood style.
One Indian session will be especially suitable for young people and adults with support needs and there is already a very enthusiastic group in Ullapool who are bound to make this go well – all newcomers, carers and relatives are welcome.
The traditional Festival Showcase 'Get Ullapool Dancing!' on Friday 2nd March features both professional and community performances. Youth groups will represent the Evanton area through plan B Youth Company, also Skye Dance from Portree, the Ullapool Youth Dance Company and the Ullapool Highland Dancers. Inverness couple Kristiane and Martin Ewart will demonstrate a tango, whilst Ullapool Dance teacher Alice Wilkins will choreograph her own work and also that of talented young local dancer Rowan Strachan. The evening will be headlined by Dance Ihayami providing a completely traditional Indian Dance experience and then a little Bollywood to get everyone onto the stage.
The festival aims to provide dance opportunities for all tastes. Saturday 3rd sees a wide variety of 'come and try' workshops mainly aimed at beginners which start with a Line Dancing warm-up. If you are a new Mum you can dance with your baby in a sling and learn special moves to strengthen your muscles. There are sessions for little ones under 2 and a disco for under 6s. Older children and adults have their own classes in styles such as Charleston, Ballet and Musical Theatre. Henry Fosbrooke from Tain leads sessions in drumming and rhythm using his own home-made drums.
Ullapool Festival favourite Nigel May is back teaching urban high energy routines in the High School and then a special session on Saturday aimed at encouraging boys to make their mark in the dance world. Nigel's “Acrobatic and Physical Moves” for 10-18 year olds will provide challenges for people who like to be active.
At the other end of the scale, Ullapool has established a very popular 'Gentle Moves' class where the average age is about 80. This class can be done from seated or standing or a mix of the two. Guest teacher from Eden Court is Louise Marshall and is very popular for her speciality of working with limited mobility participants. Louise also takes a session in Easy Peasy Jazz for those who just like their dance class to be fun but not exhausting.
Highland Dancers can enjoy an unusual class by Danielle Tyrer. Originally a Highland Dance teacher, Danielle now also teaches contemporary dance in Perth and will bring the two styles together for all ages who have some Highland Dance experience.
On Saturday adults can be expressive with Improvised Dance and relaxed with Rhythmic Yoga Flow, then on Sunday a special two hour workshop introduces 'Embodied Spirituality' bringing Ecstatic Dance to Ullapool – exploring the divine through movement and physicality.
The festival also features the prestigious 57° North gathering of professional dancers in the Highlands. This is a chance for dance artists and teachers to network and take part in professional workshops lead by Dance Ihayami and Claire Pritchard.
Don't miss the big hit of the festival - the great “Ceilidh and Latin Dance Party” on Saturday 3rd March. Featuring the traditional 'The Wild West Ceilidh Band' for some country dancing and also features performances of belly-dancing and salsa. A night-club provides a chance for the crowd who like a DJ session.
The whole festival runs from Thursday to Sunday and combines being a fun family event with providing serious and high quality dance experiences. Whatever your interest in dance, the whole event can provide entertainment and a chance to brush up skills or learn something new.
Classes and venues are open and accessible to all abilities with some especially suitable for people with limited mobility or lower fitness or energy levels. Make contact to discuss any special requirements or the appropriateness of individual classes.
All class places must be booked in advance and last year many sold out! Bookings are now open and will close on Thursday 2nd March 2018 at 11:30pm.