Birmingham's DanceXchange organisation has joined forces with West Midlands development agency Arts Connect to bring together a digital artist, dance professionals and young people from across the region to explore creativity during lockdown.

The online project, #DanceConnect, aims to discover new methods of creative exchange and investigate what artistic language can be uniquely developed in the current set of circumstances. The aim is to explore new ways of working and open up possibilities for enhanced dance and digital collaborations.

Eleven dance leaders from across the region have been selected to take part, working together in duos or trios to exchange practice and artistic inspiration. Throughout the process, they will be working closely alongside digital artist Wayne Sables, supporting digital artist Anthony Shintai, and a group of specifically invited young people.

It's hoped that the creative research will support the development of a regionwide youth dance project in 2021 and ’22, celebrating the West Midlands as seen through the eyes of young people. 

Commenting, Alex Henwood, Head of Learning & Participation at DanceXchange, said: “This is the start of an ambitious regionwide collaboration and a great opportunity to explore the unique opportunities these circumstances bring. This project is a huge team effort, and we are striving to put the West Midlands on the map for innovative work co-curated by young people.”

#DanceConnect is funded by Arts Direct and produced by DanceXchange on behalf of the wider Dance Development Leaders Network (West Midlands). The development process will be supported by artistic facilitator Orit Azaz, a specialist in creating large-scale, outdoor, collaborative performance.