Professional dancers are set to wow customers on the Tyne and Wear Metro this summer with a series of set-piece performances at stations.
The pop-up dance performances by the Newcastle-based Southpaw Dance Company mark the launch of Metro operator Nexus’ biggest ever community arts programme.
Between August and spring 2022 Metro will be brought to life in new ways through dance, song, music and visual arts projects involving people right across the region and funded by Arts Council England.
The Metro Takeover programme will see major regional arts organisations including Sunderland Culture, Dance City and Cultural Spring run community projects and commissions to be showcased at stations across the busy urban transit system. Full details of the Metro Takeover will be announced by Nexus next month.
The first set of dance performances specially co-commissioned by Nexus and Dance City will be choreographed by Robby Graham of Southpaw Dance Company. The new work, REACH, will be performed by 14 emerging dance artists that are part of the postgraduate company The Collective, based at Dance City.
REACH will be performed at three Metro stations:
• Wednesday August 4 Park Lane in Sunderland - 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
• Thursday August 5 Tynemouth Metro station in North Tyneside – 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
• Friday August 6 Central Station Metro concourse in Newcastle – 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “We will be turning Metro into a platform for community arts and live performances by creative people from across North East England over the coming year.
“We are launching this Metro Takeover by welcoming Southpaw Dance Company to perform for our customers at three of our stations.
“From next month, with the support of cultural partners and Arts Council England, we will be promoting opportunities for communities to join new visual and performing arts projects with Metro providing a reach to new audiences. Creative arts and the barriers it breaks down are a great way to help people reconnect with Metro in their everyday lives.”
The dancers will perform a new dance-theatre production called REACH. Through the medium of dance, it brings home a sense of reconnecting and of hope through adversity after the pandemic.
In a community-sourced narrative written by Lee Mattinson, it examines the possibilities and the optimism of re-connecting once again as the country emerges from lockdown, culminating in a celebration of the things that connect us and will support our recovery, through friends, family, community and reconnection.