Press Release: Once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity for Warwickshire's Artful Dodgers

Jan 24 2014

  • Boys Dancing project showcase performance 'Artful Dodgers' at Warwick Arts Centre 11 February 2014 at 7pm
  • Boys Dancing is a project led by Warwick Arts Centre which aims to get boys and young men into dance
  • Over 200 boys from schools and youth groups across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire will dance together in the Butterworth Hall accompanied by a live DJ.

On February 11 2014, over 200 local lads will transform Warwick Art’s Centre’s Butterworth Hall into an extraordinary dance hall for their unique showcase performance of Artful Dodgers.

Artful Dodgers is the result of five months’ Boys Dancing work with 21 schools and youth groups across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, where professional male dance artists have worked with boys and young men - most of whom have never danced before - to devise the show.

Each group has been working separately over the last few months, however, the 11th of February will see them all come together on one night only for a unique performance at Warwick Arts Centre.

David McKenna, Artistic Director of Beingfrank Physical Theatre and Creative Director of the Boys Dancing project explains how the performance has come together:

“The process this year has been particularly challenging! Myself and four other male dance artists have choreographed over 200 lads, of different ages & abilities, all working in separate groups, creating dance material that will be pieced together like a jigsaw in the final performance.

“The theme that ties the piece together is ‘avoidance’ - hence the title Artful Dodgers. I wanted to explore the kind of techniques young men employ when avoiding difficult situations. Investigating this theme has enabled them to discuss openly things that they avoid, like confrontation, touch, showing their feelings in public and facing up to responsibility or bad news.

Artful Dodgers will blend different movement styles from contemporary to breakdancing and street dance, from parkour to martial arts techniques. It will consist of moments of intense physical theatre and fluid contemporary dance all knitted together to present the boys' creative expression on what avoidance means to them.”

For many of the lads this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform on a reputed professional stage, and it looks set to be an unforgettable night. The stalls seats of the concert hall will be removed so the boys will be dancing their grand finale to an audience watching from the balconies above.They will also be dancing along to a live DJ/ Sound Artist, Ashley Brown, who has produced music uniquely for the performance. The soundtrack features a specially commissioned rap ‘Avoidance’ from performance poet Ali Gadema, where the prose revolves around the relationship between a father and son.


For further information about Boys Dancing please contact:

Education Department
Warwick Arts Centre
University of Warwick

024 7657 4786 / 7615 1793

Notes to editors

Boys Dancing

Boys Dancing is led by Warwick Arts Centre and Beingfrank Physical Theatre and has two simple aims:

  • To prove to boys and young men, who think that dance is just for girls, that through exciting, creative work that inspires and energises, dance could be something that is most definitely for them.
  • To create dance opportunities for boys of all abilities, all backgrounds and from all communities thereby recognising, reflecting and celebrating the rich diversity of the West Midlands.
  • The project is funded by Arts Council England and partners in the Boys Dancing Alliance.

    Warwick Arts Centre

    Based in Coventry in the West Midlands and sitting on the campus of the University of Warwick, Warwick Arts Centre is one of the most significant presenters and co-producers of contemporary performing and visual arts in the UK, with a programme including theatre, classical music, live art, dance, music, literature, comedy, family events and visual art. Warwick Arts Centre’s work is avowedly contemporary and international in scope and dimension.

    Beingfrank Physical Theatre

    Beingfrank Physical Theatre creates breathtaking expressive and intensely physical performance often in collaboration with other artists and art forms. Set up in 2004 to inspire young men to dance, Beingfrank continues to stimulate and engage audiences of all ages with its distinctive raw physicality.

    Schools and Youth Groups performing in Artful Dodgers:

    Alderbrook School, Solihull
    Alice Stevens School, Coventry
    Arc School, Ansley, Nuneaton
    Arc School, Church End, Nuneaton
    Arc School, Napton, Warwickshire
    Cardinal Wiseman School and Languages College, Coventry
    Ernesford Grange YPC, Coventry
    Foxford School and Community Arts College, Coventry
    Frederick Bird Primary School, Coventry
    Henley-in-Arden School, Warwickshire
    Hillfields YPC, Coventry
    Holbrook Primary School, Coventry
    John Henry Newman Catholic College, Solihull
    Lyndon School, Solihull
    North Warwickshire & Hinckley College
    President Kennedy School, Coventry
    The Avon Valley School, Rugby
    The Coleshill School, Warwickshire
    The Nuneaton Academy
    Woodlands School, Warwickshire
    Wyken Croft Primary School, Coventry

    Ashley Brown

    Ashley Brown is a digital artist based in Coventry, whose work has spanned music and sound production, film scores, interactive and digital art installations, iOS/Android development, mobile and locative based augmented experiences, custom electronic interfaces and electronic instrument creation. He has a strong international relationship with digital artists in Poland, France, Germany and USA and is Director of Ludic Rooms - a digital arts organisation.

    Ali Gadema

    Ali Gadema has been working as an established rapper, poet, hip hop theatre practitioner and educator nationally for many years. He has received national and international recognition performing in Jamaica, Washington DC and other places around the globe.