Introducing Dorset Youth Dance’s (DYD) short dance film, Tess. Created in partnership with Movers & Shakers, a company of mature dancers, this contemporary dance film with an intergenerational cast is inspired by Hardy’s literature and filmed in local landscapes. Choreographed and directed by DYD Artistic Director, Claire Benson, and filmed by local photographer and film artist, Dan Tucker, Tess is performed by Dorset Youth Dance Company and Movers and Shakers and was created and filmed in and just after the first lockdown of the Coronavirus pandemic.
A long term ambition of DYD to create an intergenerational work, the opportunity to act on this ambition came about with the end of the first lockdown in sight. The Movers & Shakers and DYD dancers learned the choreography during 1-2 workshops via Zoom, before coming together to film in a COVID-secure fashion after the end of lockdown. This was an important time for us, as lockdown had highlighted the importance of connection, creativity and an appreciation of our local landscapes.
With thanks to Revd. Jean Saddington, Dorset Council and Ilchester Estates for granting permissions to film on the beautiful Dorset landscapes and thanks also to the band Vintage Wildflowers for granting us permission to use their stunning track.
A bit about DYD
Activate is the managing organisation of Dorset Youth Dance (DYD), an unincorporated organisation steered by a group of experts in the field. It was founded in 1998 to provide, improve and maintain education in the art of dance for young people in Dorset. It launched Fish Tank, and then later renamed Portrait in 2007, a youth dance company recognised by Dorset’s art and cultural industry and beyond, for the quality of its work and the opportunities it offers gifted and talented dancers aged 14-21. Portrait re-launched as Dorset Youth Dance Company in September 2016, with progressive feeder and company classes, followed by a creative class for 7-11 year olds in May 2018. Since, DYD have had the opportunity to perform in U-Dance SW and PDSW’s Origins, and have worked with highly regarded artists from Motionhouse and Alleyne Dance.
DYD have regularly performed with Activate’s integrated youth company The Remix, including at Inside Out Dorset 2018, and formed part of the cast for The Remix’s 2019 Music video, which focused on bringing awareness to the challenges facing people who are disabled and living in Dorset.
Since the company re-launched, several young people have followed in the footsteps of previous Portrait members and have gone on to study dance and choreography in Higher Education. Recently, company members have been accepted to Universities and conservatoires such as Laban, Chichester and Falmouth. Ex-Company members studying at this level often return to DYD to talk about their experiences and inspire younger dancers. DYD members have also benefited from Creative Careers Days organised by Activate in partnership with PDSW or Weymouth College. DYD enjoy working collaboratively with other partners to deliver inspiring and educational experiences for young people in support of their progression.
Follow Dorset Youth Dance Company on Instagram, to keep up to date with their work @dorsetyouthdanceco