The Easter Holidays began with a bang last weekend when the Tullie House Border Galleries were brought to life through a dance project with a difference. Award winning local choreographer Adam Russell made an open call to Carlisle residents interested in trying their hand at contemporary dance. For six weeks the galleries were transformed into a dance studio, with rehearsals for three groups of amateur and professional dancers ranging from the age of eight to (nearly) eighty!
Their hard work concluded in seven promenade dance performances for all of our weekend visitors, which began by the notorious ‘cursing stone’ in the museum underpass, moving through the galleries with scenes in the Victorian train carriages, on the roman wall, by the iron age hut, through the beautiful old house, and outside into the Jacobean gardens. The dancers told a compelling story inspired by the space and the time period it represented. The whole performance was accompanied by musician Madelaine Jones, who played beautifully bespoke pieces on the flute and on the keyboard to complement the dances.
It was fantastic to see the surprised faces of visitors who just came across the dancers in the gallery; emerging from the caves beating drums and sticks, or popping up from behind the Roman wall wearing red feathered helmets!
We have received some lovely responses from audience members, who ‘found the experience uplifting’, and thought ‘the dancers of all ages were very talented, and the theme that Adam Russell had created was very thought provoking’.
We hope to continue using the museum in new and innovative ways, bringing the galleries to life through projects which bring the community together in this way. A huge Well Done and Thank You to everyone who took part and came along and watched!