The first collaboration of the Youth Arts Network High Peak, We Make Our World brought together music, drama, movement and film into an interactive performance at the Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton.
Discussion at the Youth Arts Network meetings of February 8th and May 10th developed an idea to invite groups to join together and collaborate on a performance. Buxton Opera House offered to provide the Pavilion Arts Centre as part of their Children’s Festival, Octoberfest. Groups from across the district were invited to join the programme, and through the Grants for the Arts budget, High Peak Community Arts was able to fund a series of workshops with a film-maker/VJ, musician, and drama practitioner as Creative Director.
The timescale was tight, so a theme of Water was set by the Youth Arts Network, and a loose storyline came from workshops lead by Sian Dudley of Buxton Opera House, with young people at Harpur Hill Children’s Centre. This storyline was shared with the groups as they came on board, but with the understanding that nothing was set in stone.
- To bring together at least 4 different groups of young people, from a range of backgrounds and places.
- To use at least 3 different artforms in a final performance.
- To bring the elements of performance from the different groups together into one narrative.
- To re-imagine the performance space at the Pavilion Arts Centre and challenge convention.
These are the groups who got involved in creating material and performing on the night:
I would say that I enjoyed it all, I would say the first thing I remember was the boats, because they were so big! And it was like if you turned round, you could knock someone over with them!
New Mills School
We wrote down stuff to do with Water and we did little drama games to kind of like get some ideas and then we started to come up with the story… and then we kind of gradually got a story together and like worked, like we all put different things that we wanted to put in
our thing we had all the physical theatre in it and stuff, which was really funny
Hope Valley College
we went through general plan and how we were going to… and where we actually wanted to go. We kind of split up the workshops as well. We had really little time, we had one section two of us doing percussion, and two of us doing music, and we kind of – so we kind of lead different areas, and swapped round.
Chapel Jam Night
I enjoyed working with the young people at Chapel Jam Night and I feel that the one young person who did join in with the performance found it very rewarding.
Laurie Agnew, Musician
I was just swimming, in front was it green-screen?
Oh they edited it, to make it look like she was actually drowning in water, as opposed to just drowning in air.
We enjoy making the lantern, it was very interesting and very messy! The children are looking forward to Friday, and going for a spooky walk!
The final week
In the final week there were three days of rehearsals, first the two drama groups and the two music groups, and second the drama and the film group.
It was in this time that ideas were shared and cross over between the groups was possible.
- Some of the ROFA drama group joined the Hope Valley College musicians, to learn their drumming parts, allowing them to play the instrumentals over the top.
- The lead character from the New Mills drama group was filmed to be edited into the pool of water projection made at Chinley.
- All the groups got involved in the opening scene of the performance, lying under the waves, or helping to round up the audience.
- Joss from Hope Valley College got involved with the track from Chapel Jam Night, as most of the group couldn’t come on the final week, they had to re-shape the track for the performance.
On the third and final day, everyone met at Buxton Pavilion Arts Centre from 2pm for dress rehearsals and last minute nerves.
We came in there was lots of drama rehearsals going on again, and then we sorted out some more drumming, like then everyone practiced the drumming bit, and I talked to Joe and Laurie, to ask them to do it too. That was fine – I just literally went “bah bahbah bahbah” for the rhythm, and then they played it – so they played it