IT IS a chance for dancers from across the region and from all walks of life to strut their stuff.
Dansopolis is a dance showcase, now in its fourth year. But when the show opens at the Lawrence Batley Theatre tonight, with a repeat performance tomorrow, it will be the first time it has been seen in Huddersfield.
The performances are presented by Yorkshire Dance, which was launched more than 25 years ago. It nows runs more than 50 sessions and courses each week, from Bollywood and ballroom to breakdance and ballet.
As one of nine national dance agencies, it supports artists and choreographers in the region as well as working with the community to offer opportunities to get involved with dance.
Part of that work involves bringing the amateur and professional dance worlds together. That’s certainly happening at the LBT this weekend when the work on show will include a brand new dance piece by Benji Reid, driving force behind the Manchester-based hip hop and physical theatre company Breaking Cycles.
Benji, a hip-hop and physical performance artist, is known for his unique blend of music and movement. His company puts together hip-hop, physical theatre and text to really shake up views on what dance is all about.
Anyone who caught his show, Life of a B’Boy at the LBT last autumn, will know exactly what his work is about. And there’s a fresh taste of that style when he directs Have Box Will Travel, which will be in LBT’s new autumn season.
Tonight’s showwill feature Benji’s piece plus the work of young people from regional schools, colleges and youth dance groups. They will be performing a selection of short dances in styles from Indian classical to urban and hip hop.
And tomorrow, you’ll see everyone from tots to grandparents offering their dance vocabulary in everything from belly dance to street funk and tap.
Wieke Eringa, artistic director of Yorkshire Dance, said: “There is something inspiring, refreshing and deeply moving about the sheer commitment of non-professional performers that we seldom see on the professional stage.
“At Yorkshire Dance we engineer the ‘rubbing of shoulders’ of professionals and ‘normal’ people; so we are very excited about an artist like Benji working with such a range of performers: from toddlers to seniors.
“We hear too much of crime, of young people scaring old people and stabbing each other. Dansopolis is a celebration of what it means to be in a healthy community, one where we can support each other, express ourselves, be curious and enjoy our talent and excellence.”