Search for South Tyneside veterans to become part of Poppy dance production

Ex-servicemen and women from South Tyneside are being encouraged to sign up for a new dance production.

Veterans from our area may have become more used to preparing for conflict than contemporary dance, but organisers of the show, called Poppy, are keen to enlist their services – and take advantage of “an opportunity not to be missed”.

The call to arms comes from the Eliot Smith Dance (ESD), a Newcastle-based contemporary dance company.

“We are offering war veterans and ex-service men and women from South Tyneside and across the North East the chance to be part of a new contemporary dance work called Poppy,” said an ESD spokesperson.

“Poppy is choreographed by the company’s Artistic Director, Eliot Smith, in collaboration with The Royal British Legion.

“The dance work itself is a retrospective and abstract look at war and conflict and the sacrifices made by those affected, and is inspired by the flower.” Under the title Sacrification, it is set to a score for trombone ensemble and percussion that was specially commissioned by ESD from American trombonist, band leader, and composer, Jason Holcomb.

“There will be a unique opportunity for war veterans and ex-service men and women who live locally to take part in the adaptation of Poppy, entitled Sea of Red Dancers, and join ESD dancers in this remembrance tribute to those who have served and those currently serving in the Armed Forces, their families and dependants.

“The participants will rehearse alongside Eliot Smith and his professional dancers.

“No stage or dance experience is required, but prospective participants must be comfortable performing in front of an audience.


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“The role will not involve physical effort, and Eliot Smith will work with everyone’s individual needs and abilities. Those involved will receive an appropriate travel allowance.”

Anyone interested in taking part should be available to attend a Workshop Day at Space Six, Floor Six, Commercial Union House, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, on Saturday, October 27 and the Performance Day at Woodhorn Museum, Ashington, on Saturday, November 10.

To register your interest, or if you require further information, readers should email [email protected] or phone 07974 582973.

The work will be premièred at The Sage, Gateshead, on Tuesday November 27.


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“This is an opportunity not to be missed,” added the spokesperson.

If you are interested in taking part in the show, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.