May 2021 Awards
The first round saw four artist teams awarded for a range of work including performances, community engagement projects and development time for exploring a new idea.
Theatre-maker Kirsty Pennycook, and performer, Brooklyn Melvin, will spend a week in rehearsal and development creating movement based around the beautifully illustrated book, The Song of the Tree. They will explore how an early years audience might follow the story visually, and test ideas for babies without spoken language, using Brooklyn’s skilled use of Visual Vernacular British Sign Language, a form of physical theatre performed by deaf artists.
Judith Williams, Susan Applebee, and Rory Clark will begin research into a piece called ‘here & now’ that supports families to deeply listen to themselves, each other and the world. Judith Williams, Artistic Director of The Letter J said, “The parasympathetic systems of young babes and their caregivers are intertwined – when we slow our breath and heartbeat our babes’ systems also settle.” The piece is described as a “prayer to the present” with improvised music, and a sound installation along a forest trail.
Playing Together, is a new Dance show created by Andre Anderson, an arts facilitator, theatre-maker and performer based in Dumfries, Scotland. Dance, play, and adventures inform his work, and his piece is for families and careers and centres on the power of outdoor play, hoping to inspire others to take to the great outdoors and make adventures and memories of their own. The piece uses international play, an original score and movement to drive the message of the importance of recreational activities outside. Andre said, “I have seen first-hand what young children can do and can’t wait to unlock more of their potential through creative play and can’t wait to see the result of this newly devised show.”
Originally from Hong Kong, Cynthia WS Cheung is an arts practitioner, performance maker and stage manager based in Edinburgh. Festival Adventure is a project exploring the different festival traditions through wraparound activities and performance. It aims to provide a space for us and the young audience to experience multiculturalism and celebrate uniqueness. Working with collaborators with diverse backgrounds, Festival Adventure includes activities that involve multisensory creative play for ages 2-5 to explore different festival traditions and stories. Cynthia said, “Like the adult, children should have the opportunity to explore the world, enjoy different festivals, experience multiculturalism and celebrate the beauty of diversity.”