This half term, Pavilion Dance South West invites audiences on a living room woodland adventure

Creating new adventures for families to enjoy this half term, Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW) have co-commissioned Second Hand Dance’s Night Tree. This magical film is about one very  

special tree and a family’s gift to all the creatures in the wintry woods. Based on Eve Bunting’s  

book of the same name, this wonderfully endearing story encourages generosity in caring for  

nature and each other in a gentle sensory journey to explore from home.  

The film will be available for stream on a pay-what-you-can basis on PDSW’s website from Friday  19th February and is accompanied by a free print-at-home activity pack that includes details on  

how to create your own forest floor, bird feeder, and drawings and how to make a delicious hot  chocolate. On Saturday and Sunday, there will also be a chance to learn to Ceilidh with the team  from Second Hand Dance in a Zoom workshop inspired by the Night Tree. Night Tree will have  

both audio described and captioned versions available; the activity pack is also available in an  

audio format; the Zoom workshop will have BSL and closed captions available. 

A special vegan, gluten and nut free woodland picnic can be ordered from PDSW’s local  

independent Green Label Kitchen to accompany the films for those based in the Bournemouth  

area. Their special hot chocolate mix and gooey brownies for five people can be delivered to 

your door for only £13 with £1 from every order supporting the Trussell Trust network of  

foodbanks. 

As one of the nations’ leading dance venues outside London, PDSW have pushed the boundaries  of what’s possible in the digital sphere. They have explored new ways to give audiences an  

opportunity to engage with dance at home, to connect to new communities and to beat online  

fatigue.

In less than a year, PDSW have quickly adapted and provided over 45 live Zoom dance classes;  15 different styles of dance classes free to view on YouTube; 10 online workshops; a five-part podcast series; a month-long dance and technology forum; and 39 streamable performances,  being among the first to offer free to view dance premieres in the initial lockdown. They have  

invested heavily in creating a broad digital programme that provides their audiences with tailored content and are utilising the latest digital technology with the integration of Google  Maps into their fundraising campaign. Despite, having not been able to generate an income  since March 2020, PDSW remain committed to making their performances pay-what-you-can to  ensure their work can be accessed by the widest audience possible in these difficult times. 

Artistic Director and CEO of Pavilion Dance South West, Zannah Chisholm comments, Despite the  building being closed since March, we have been working on developing and refining our digital  output. We have responded to our audience’s online needs during lockdown by creating a digital  programme that can reach all ages and interests, and included closed captions and audio  descriptions to make our online presence accessible to everyone. We intend to continue our  digital programming alongside our live programming and aim for it to become a sustainable  income stream for us and professional artists. 

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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