Mass dance performance to launch The Word

Dancers are set to have the first word at South Tyneside's newest venue next month.

Tuesday, 18th October 2016, 12:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 2:47 pm
Southpaws Robert Anderson leads a rehearsal session at the Customs House.

A free mass participation performance is to take place at The Word, The National Centre for the Written Word in South Shields Market Place, on Thursday, November 3.

An audience of up to 5,000 is expected to watch at the launch event for the centre, which will open on Saturday.

The Word is set to open in South Shields on Saturday.

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The performance will take place outside the building.

The performance, called WordPlay, will be delivered by Southpaw Dance Company and Event Management, and has been jointly commissioned by The Cultural Spring and South Tyneside Council.

Workshops and rehearsals have started in South Shields, Sunderland and Newcastle, and although more than 100 dancers have already signed up, there is still room for more.

Southpaw director Robby Graham said: “I’m delighted the way things are coming together.

The Word is set to open in South Shields on Saturday.

“The energy and the commitment shown in the sessions has been really impressive and our dancers are picking up the choreography quickly. It is challenging, but accessible, and the workshops give people the chance to learn new skills and meet new people – as well as take part in a what will be a memorable performance. The workshops are open to anyone who wants to get involved, whatever dance experience they have. We’re looking for dancers aged 16 and they’ll be working along side six professional performers.”

Open rehearsal sessions are taking place from 6pm on Tuesdays at the Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields, and on Fridays from 6pm at Boldon School, on New Road, as well as venues in Sunderland and Newcastle. For more details, go to