Looking back on a packed summer

News | 25 October 2022

Queenscroft Park Picnic. Outdoors in a park, adults and children hold hands as if in a procession. They are all smiling

In the summer of 2022, Greenwich Dance and Artstrust Productions created a programme of fabulous festival fun with events taking place across the borough.

Working with our friends at Artstrust Productions, we first came up with some exciting events and classes for Greenwich Park. These events and classes formed part of The Royal Park’s initiative – Greenwich Park Revealed – which is designed to animate the park and help people discover parts that are less well used.

We created three events for families and young people with a mix of professional dance companies, local artists and community groups:

Friday 24 June 2022, 3.30pm – 5pm

Autin Dance Theatre‘s Out of the Deep Blue was an outdoor performance featuring a large-scale Sea Giant puppet!

Autin Dance Theatre's Out of the Deep Blue. Photo: Roswitha Chesher

In Anatomical‘s audio adventure MidSummerland, participants were given headsets and taken to a make-believe festival featuring silliness such as annual trifle dances, noodle pathways and Cannonball hedgehogs.

South East London-based author, artist and illustrator Haffeera Cader Saul also presented a unique reading of her children’s book Are You There? Buzzed the Busy Bees and The Squirrelling Squirrel along with a puppet show.

Continuing the environmental theme, local artist Valerio Oliveira made colourful costume creations out of recycled plastic bags.

Sally McKay, another local artist worked with families to create extinct animals out of clay.

That was a fantastic event – I need more
Audience Member

Friday 8 July, 5pm – 8.30pm

In Born to Protest – a performance by Just Us Dance Theatre, choreographer Joseph Toonga aimed to dismantle presumptions about the black male and female figure based on intimidation and isolation, revealing instead character traits around fragility, vulnerability and a constant battle to prove oneself.

Just Us Dance Theatre performing in Greenwich Park

Andre Bright, an esteemed local artist, dancer and choreographer, joined us as compere introducing our community performers.

Lotus Youth Dance Company, our performance company for 13 – 19 year olds led by Colleen Joseph were followed by  Dynamix Dancers a Thamesmead based group who provide regular classes to young people in Bexley and Greenwich.

Friday 22 July, 3.30pm – 5pm

Folk Dance Remixed fused fun folk dance with funky hip hop styles – combining clogging, street dance and breaking with flavours of African and Bollywood, performed around a maypole!

Folk Dance Remixed performing Step Hop House in Greenwich Park

Comparing the event was local artist Andre Bright who was on hand to introduce Creative Generation dancers from Charlton and UK Latin Community CIC, who performed demonstrations with dancers from across the generations.

Highlights for me were seeing something nice for the community, that it is free, and the different cultures.
Audience Member

Greenwich Park Classes

In addition to the events in the park, we also worked with local artists to create three brand new classes which took place throughout the summer. These were Tai Chi in the Park with Chew-Yeen Lawes, Kiduku Rhythms (a dance class influenced by Tanzanian dance styles) with Silyvester and Family Story Walks which were created by choreographer Maria Ghoumrassi and storyteller Juwon Ogungbe and design to tell stories of some of Greenwich’s most prolific residents.

Kiduku Rhythms

Maryon Park Picnic

Sunday 26 June, 1pm – 6pm

Our next adventure took us to Maryon Park where, with the help of Arts Council England Jubilee funding, we helped the local community to put on a spectacular event.

Headlined by Cut a Shine, a London-based ceilidh band, the bumper line-up also included:

  • Guinness World Record holding Hula Hoop troupe The Majorettes with a demo and workshop.
  • Anatomical’s audio adventure MidSummerland.
  • Greenwich Dance’s Adult Performance Company.
  • Africa Drum – an amateur enthusiast djembe group
  • Lotus Youth Dance Company, our performance company for 13 – 19 year olds
  • Creative Generation Dance School
  • Charlton Athletic Football Club
  • A craft tent by St Thomas Parochial Church
  • Stalls by St Thomas’s, Friends of Windrush Primary School and Friends of Maryon Park
  • Races led by the Charlton Parkside Hub

The Maryon Park Picnic - video by Thomas Rosser

Queenscroft Park Picnic

Sunday 24 July, 1pm – 6pm

Headlining the event was Endurance Steel Orchestra – a community organisation in South East London giving people the opportunity to express and develop their musical talent.

The line-up also included:

  • Eltham Library and Eltham Arts with craft workshops, nursery rhyme singalongs and reading corner
  • Middle Park Community Centre with soft play
  • Charlton Athletic Football Club
  • African Dance workshop with Maria Ghoumrassi
  • Local police with a bike-marking service
  • Stalls by a calligraphy artist and Brownies

Hula hooping at the Queenscroft Park Picnic. Photo: Lucy White

Gallions Park Picnic

Sunday 31 July, 3pm – 8pm

Headlining the event was Just Us Dance Theatre with Born to Protest and Greenwich Family Arts Festival with The Rascally Diner. This was our first time presenting work in Gallions Park and engaging with this community and so we were thrilled by how many people joined us throughout the day.

The line-up also included:

  • A stall by West Thamesmead Resident’s Association
  • Ems Fun Faces – face painting and glitter tattoos

The Rascally Diner. Photo: Lucy White

Holiday Fun Fridays in General Gordon Square

On Fridays throughout August, we took two adventures to Woolwich. Families were able to enjoy Anatomical’s fantasty festival-based audio adventure MidSummerland. Plus, they could take part in The RIDDLE – a code cracking dance game using QR codes hidden around the square.

The RIDDLE in General Gordon Square. A costumed character poses in front of a group of children. He wears a white suit with a white bowler hat

The RIDDLE's central character Pæn in General Gordon Square

Look out on our What’s On page for next year’s awesome events!

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