City arts organisations in Derby are working with pupils at special education needs (SEND) schools across Derby on an ambitious multi-media creative project entitled Reimagine.
In the initial stages, the creative team from Derby-based Orchestra Sinfonia Viva has been working with young people from St Giles’ and St Andrew’s schools to write and produce songs on the theme of friendship.
This has been inspired by ‘Home Girl’, an acclaimed novel by author Alex Wheatle MBE about a teenage girl growing in up the care system which is being adapted to a stage play at Derby Theatre this summer as part of the wider Reimagine creative project.
The new music produced by the pupils and the Sinfonia Viva team will be translated into movement and dance by inclusive theatre company Hubbub and pupils from St Martins and St Andrew’s schools.
This performance will be filmed and QUAD will be working separately with Ivy House and St Clare’s schools to create visual elements and additional animation that will come together with the music and dance elements to create the final digital theatre productions.
Three films in total will be produced and will premiere at QUAD on July 21 when the young people involved will take part in further workshops – meeting together for the first time.
Reimagine, led by Derby Theatre, also involves other city arts organisations including Artcore, Déda and Baby People who are working on creative projects across the city. The project is one of five national pilot programmes, funded through Arts Council England and DMCS as part of the Youth Performance Partnership Fund.
It follows the huge success of #ThisIsDerby in 2019 – a unique collaboration of sport, arts and cultural activity to develop young people’s essential life skills.
Marianne Barraclough, Sinfonia Viva Deputy Chief Executive: Programme, explained: “Although very different from ‘This is Derby’ due to pandemic restrictions, Reimagine is set to be just as much of a celebration of what can be achieved through creativity both virtually and then in person.
“After such a difficult time during the pandemic, it was just what we all needed to inject new energy and passion for creativity in different forms and we were delighted to be able to be involved in this year’s project.
“Viva is developing a national reputation for inclusive music making and we look forward to showcasing another fantastic celebration of the joy and empowerment that young people can gain through creative projects such as this.”
Jen Sumner, Artistic Director of Hubbub Theatre Company, added: “We are thrilled to be a part of Reimagine 2021, and even more excited that we are able to run in person activity in schools this year.
“Being in the room with the young people we are working with is so vital to our inclusive practice and The Hubbub Way methodology.
“We are so pleased that we can recreate those connections and the shared experiences we have all missed as well as providing the students with a chance to shine through movement and dance.”
QUAD CEO Adam Buss concluded: “Our involvement in Reimagine has enabled us to continue to provide cultural and creative experiences for young people in this partnership model, which #ThisIsDerby initiated in 2019.
“We are so pleased to be part of this project, supporting young people with digital and visual learning opportunities that link various creative skills into a combined outcome, truly enriching their cultural capital.
“We can’t wait to see the culmination of this collaborative project, especially the coming together of all involved, at the premiere screening at QUAD in July.”
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