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Grants for the arts award for Chester’s Fallen Angels Dance Theatre

  • Date: 22 December 2011
  • Area: North
Dancers in various poses, central figure with both hands in the air

Fallen Angels Dance Theatre and Performance Group. Credit: Brian Slater

Fallen Angels Dance Theatre (FADT) was awarded Grants for the arts funding of almost £10,000 for an innovative project working with young people and adults that have experienced addiction and alcoholism in their lives.

Culminating in a performance titled ‘Chapter One: Battle for the Soul’, the Lottery funding supported research and development in the form of a series of workshops and participatory projects designed to inspire vulnerable young people and adults to take part in dance theatre activity. Through this process, participants developed new skills, engaged with the wider community and were able to use dance as a means of working towards recovery. ‘With support from the Arts Council through Grants for the arts I established Fallen Angels Dance Theatre using a unique research process as a vehicle to engage people to participate in dance theatre activity. All the hard work paid off and it exceeded my expectations. I was taken aback as to how much it moved people who had not necessarily been affected by addiction, which has inspired me to do more work to reach more people.’

John Horton describes the difference taking part in the project has made to his life, ‘I ended up in prison and I just thought something needs to change, I need some structure and support when I get out. I was lucky enough to find Fallen Angels and since then, I've met friends and I've been coming to theatre.’ John has now been drug free for over six months, is being mentored by FADT and hopes to be part of the delivery team for future projects.

The company is led by Artistic Director, Paul Bayes-Kitcher. Paul, previously a soloist for Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Scottish Ballet, says the idea came out of his work at a drug rehabilitation centre,

FADT work in partnership with several organisations to deliver education and outreach work. Ranging from the local authority to independent organisations focused on working with vulnerable young people and adults in the North West, they include Liverpool’s Genie in the Gutter, Trust The Process (TTP) and the Foundation for Peace. They are also about to start working in Thorncross and Lancaster Farms prisons.

‘Chapter One: Battle for the Soul’ premiered in September 2011, with performances at The Lowry in Salford, The Black E in Liverpool, and The Pyramid in Warrington. To see photos from the performance and rehearsals