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GRACE: The Process w/ Kaylyn Ampofo

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GRACE is a choreographed moment of reflection that was created entirely under lockdown conditions by an intergenerational cast from our over 55s group Dancing To The Music of Time led by Maria Ghoumrassi, and Lotus Youth Dance Company led by Colleen Joseph. This thoughtful creation starts with a one-minute silence and is offered as a gesture of gratitude to those on the frontline and the carers in our lives. It is presented as a way to mourn our loved ones and build community resilience in these difficult times. Featuring music by Maria’s son Andalous Ghoumrassi, the soothing soundscape also features the dancers’ own spoken stories.

Kaylyn is a Lotus Youth Dance Company member and one of the cast members of GRACE. She tells us about her lockdown journey and how she has been keeping active during this time.

During lockdown I still got the chance to communicate with some friends online and had the opportunity to zoom call with lotus dance every Tuesday. It was fun to talk to others and help lift their spirits.

Along with zoom calls, we were given dance challenges to complete and the winner would get a reward.

I also had the opportunity to complete an arts award (bronze) which was so incredible. It was based on a project we did with Gayle Ching Kwan earlier in the year that was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

In July, Lotus got the chance to dance with a group called Dancing to the Music of Time on the Up My Street project. We worked with Sarah Blanc over zoom. It was amazing to dance again after all those weeks. We even ended up on BBC news, which is something I never expected but very proud of.

Finally GDIF (Greenwich + Docklands International Festival) gave us the chance to do a live performance for the NHS. I was elated to be involved with an incredible team to perform (GRACE) as a tribute to our fantastic National Health Service. I did perform with GDIF last year on an awesome show, so did not hesitate to be involved this time.

Dance has helped me through the pandemic, as it has kept me busy and sane.