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Jubilee Joy

1st June 2022

In celebration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, RJC Dance Adults and Elders have created this inspirational piece.

Our process

In our RJC Dance Adults and Elders group, we discussed each eight member's journeys from the West Indies to the UK. Movement ideas were created by the members. The ‘Going Over There’ the move, flying and travelling by sea were experiences were used as the catalyst to start our choreographic adventure.

Our Adults and Elders also looked at poems by commonwealth writers and selected movement that represented their ideas regarding unity and the cohesion of people, alongside themes of new lands visited.
Two poems by Benjamin Zephaniah influenced the compilation. The first was used as an accompaniment for Emily Liangs poem. For his poem ‘Everybody’s Doing It’ discussion was had and thereafter participants requested to try some belly dance moves (not strictly commonwealth, I know, but I thought it was important to explore the groups interest!).

At each stage, movement ideas were dreamt up and volunteered, by the group.

‘The Jubilee Compilation’ is not a set dance, it’s a guided improvisation that has continued to evolve each week, therefore every time a member came up with an interested action or movement, we incorporated the idea.

Part 1

About ‘Going Over There’– the movement was devised by Irene, the song ‘London is the Place for Me’ by Lord Kitchener, a 1948 Calypso song is about the experience of coming to London

Part 2

The first 5 lines of a poem from a collection of Commonwealth & Commonwealth literature.

Emily Liang - Team commonwealth, United We Stand.
United We stand – hands clasped and side to side sway
Hand in hand – hand clasping
On concrete new found land
In friendship we will be – Hands crossed on chest.
Team commonwealth, let us take the lead!
(accompaniment = Earth Liberation Sound – By Benjamin Zephaniah

Part 3

Benjamin Zephaniah - Everybody is Doing It
This poem talks about different styles of social dance from all over the world and inspired the idea of learning women’s belly dance moves (I chose the Turkish style which is a more social style) and which is characterised by use of scarf to twirl and to emphasise the hip movements. (accompaniment = modern Turkish pop music by Tarken).

Part 4

Returning to Lord Kitchener’s iconic song. We used the last part of the song to represent coming back home, with gesture created by Erene Henry.

It was a privilege to be taken on this journey with RJC Dance Adults & Elders, from the West Indies to the British Isles. I would like to thank you all for your live history and wonderful contribution in the recognition and celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee.

Janetta Maxwell
Dance Artist RJC Dance Adults & Elders

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