Dance workshop with Company Chameleon
Company Chameleon are a dance company based in Manchester. They produce original dance theatre and have toured all around the world. They also run workshops, dance classes and have a youth dance company in Manchester.
Kevin, Theo, Sam and Sara came to visit us and work with our Year 5s on a piece of dance theatre called ‘Witness This’. ‘Witness This’ was created by Kevin, and it explores his journey with mental health.
He explained that he has a a condition called bipolar, where his moods can feel as far apart as the North and South poles of the Earth. After a particularly hard struggle with the condition, Kevin ended up in hospital where he went through lots of emotions; thinking he was a superhero one moment to feeling so much sadness, he couldn’t feel anything else.
After he came out of hospital he used what he knew best, dance, to explain and unpick what he has been through. That’s when he created ‘Witness This’. Now Company Chameleon uses ‘Witness This’ to help other people understand mental illness and how it can affect people.
The students got into pairs, one played the puppet, and the other the puppet-master. They went through a series of movements together, with the ‘puppet’ only moving if the ‘master’ moved them. Kevin then asked the students to come up with some of their own movements, carrying on the theme of the dance.
The students came up with some really great ideas like mirror work, lifts and even a head stand! After this Kevin asked them to reverse their roles, allowing the ‘puppet’ to fight back against the ‘puppet master’.
Everyone ended the session by getting back into a big group and improvising dance moves and actions as Kevin shouted out ideas and instructions.
It was a fantastic first session with Company Chameleon that really got Year 5 thinking and moving in a new way. We can’t wait for the next session and to see how this project comes along!