Mayor's Blog - Town Mayor Councillor D Wade

18 July 2019

Back to Brockhill Park Performing Arts College this evening for the InStep 2019 Gala Evening.  Brockhill College doesn’t just teach and inspire its own students; dancers from 5 secondary schools, 12 primary schools, and various pre-schools and nurseries also learn to dance there under the artistic direction of Jackie Mortimer and her remarkable InStep Dance Company.  This amounts to a very substantial Community Arts programme. When you consider the tens of thousands of hours that must have gone into the organisation, staging, choreography and teaching of an evening like this it becomes truly mind-boggling.  The standard is always very high and the Peter Catmull Theatre has been packed out each time I’ve attended. I notice that the Arts Council of England is supporting the company and that numerous enlightened individuals from Hythe and further afield are also sponsoring it and acting as patrons.

Dance is surely the most essential artistic activity in any culture and what the young people gain from this joyful discipline and dedication must be literally beyond words.

This evening, I was particularly engaged by the wide range of cultural reference in the dance of the 11 different companies who performed. There was a sense of global vision and limitless interplay of influences, ranging from yogic asanas to African American Break Dance to Classical Ballet and Experimental Jazz. The choreography, in particular of the lisanmaayas Company piece, Into Existence, was mesmeric, moving seamlessly from stillness and intensity to sparkling dynamism.

Fall from Form by The Mayakaras was also intricately and inventively conceived, and the complete assurance of Company 1’s Practically Perfect Poppins made Broadway Musical numbers look easy despite the immense complexity of the ensemble choreography.

Once again, the Mayoress and I were thrilled by the energy and excitement of the dance at Brockhill. I would urge anyone reading this to attend one of these performances and to consider sponsoring InStep.

(Instep dance Company is Dance Company in residence at Brockhill Park Performing Arts College and has played a major role in the development of community dance work in the Hythe area for over thirty two years. Past members are currently dancing with the Ballet Boyz , Verve Dance Company, Lila Dance and National Youth Dance Company.© Tony Nandi 2019)