Launched in 2019, Little Big Dance is the national programme changing the face of dance work for younger audiences: bringing dance artists together with 0-5 year-old children, early years specialists and dramaturgs to develop new skills and create new work.
Cycle one supported the creation and touring of two stunning new works by artists George Fellows and Takeshi Matsumoto, delighting young audiences and receiving critical acclaim.
In the second cycle of this pioneering programme, 13 artists join us for an Artist Lab at The Dance Space 16-20 Jan 2023 to receive training and mentoring in developing work for young audiences. Artist Xenia Aidonopoulou, who receives the £30,000 Little Big Dance Cycle Two commission, will be working with children under five to create and tour Skydiver, a brand new piece of dance work for under five year olds.
During late January and early May 2023, Xenia will carry out research and development for the piece with children in nurseries and early years settings in all four Little Big Dance partner locations, including Dance East (Ipswich), Yorkshire Dance (Leeds), Take Art (Somerset) & South East Dance (Brighton).
Xenia will use this research to create the piece here at The Dance Space, before sharing it with programmers, producers and venue bookers later this year, and taking it on a national tour from Autumn 2023.
Xenia says: “Dance theatre for children under five and their grown ups is an extremely rewarding and unique experience for me. What I enjoy most is bringing the magic of dance to these intergenerational audiences in awe-inspiring moments experienced together.”
Cath James, Artistic Director of South East Dance, says: “We are so delighted with the results of Little Big Dance Cycle One which saw children and families experiencing two beautiful new dance works it’s ok and Club Origami, created by and with young children under five. This age group is an audience that’s been historically overlooked in the dance sector and Little Big Dance is changing that. We can’t wait to see what Xenia brings to the programme and to the stage.”
Little Big Dance Cycle Two is delivered in partnership with dance organisations Dance East (Ipswich) and Yorkshire Dance (Leeds), as well as Take Art (Somerset) - an arts organisation with an early years specialism. Each partner will deliver a programme of activity in their region supported by South East Dance.
Little Big Dance is funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England and is supported by Dance Umbrella, Strike a Light Festival and Imaginate/Edinburgh International Children’s Festival.