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Jurassic Coast inspires Desert Crossings dance project

  • Date: 17 February 2011
  • Area: South West
dancers in skeleton costumes on the beach

Desert Crossings. Credit: Kevin Clifford

A new dance performance has been created as part of a project inspired by the links between the south west's Jurassic Coast and Namibia's Skeleton Coast.

Desert Crossings is a cross-cultural dance project run by Somerset based State of Emergency with South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma. This Arts Council Grants for the arts funded project has been awarded a Cultural Olympiad Inspire Mark.

The new dance performance by a company of five dancers from different cultural backgrounds will tour Devon, Dorset, Somerset and the rest of the country before visiting South Africa. New music has been created for the piece by Steve Marshall.

As well as the performance, young people in Plymouth, Taunton and Dorchester will be taking part in workshops with the dancers.

Inspired by the similarities between our Jurassic Coast and Namibia's Skeleton Coast, the new work explores and reflects on the differences between the two places, united through a shared history of the rocks on which they stand.  Once a single land mass with a desert environment called Pangaea, the continents were gradually torn apart through 250 million years of history.

Desert Crossings takes the audience on a journey of discovery, building bridges between two continents, tracing shared memories and the earth's history, revealing timeless stories, universal hopes and dreams of a better world.

Desert Crossings performances

Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, Taunton  16 February
Peninsula Arts, Plymouth  17 February
Pegasus Theatre Oxford  25 & 26 February
The Place Theatre, London  1 March
Rhodes Arts Complex, Bishop Stortford  2 March
Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth  4 March
New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth  8 March
Deda, Derby  11 March
Number 8 Arts Centre, Worcestershire  31 March
Corn Exchange, Dorchester  1 April
Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis  29 April
National Arts Festival, South Africa  30 June-2 July