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Up My Street with Grounded Movement

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Tell us a bit about you and your work

Grounded Movement have grown out of a 25-year association between Sunanda Biswas and myself Temujin Gill. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a long and diverse career, working with the likes of pioneering UK authentic jazz dance company The Jiving Lindy Hoppers and the late Frankie Manning, Daniel Radcliff and the late Richard Griffiths in Equus at Gielgud theatre in the West End, and movement direction for a number of theatre productions including Kafka’s Monkey at the Young Vic and the site-specific production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, at Peckham’s Multi-story car park.

Together with Sunanda as associate choreographer and the best ever team of dancers, I was honored with the opportunity to lead on the creation of the NHS section of Danny Boyle,s award winning London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Sunanda, originally a competitive gymnast, graduated from the London Studio Centre, and has appeared on many music videos, performed as a rapper/dancer with Take That, and was choreographer for the hit film Fish Tank, directed by Andrea Arnold.

At Grounded Movement we create and facilitate work inspired by social and street originated dances, drawing on a rich blend forms from Original Jazz and Tap to Funk, Soul and Hip Hop. Our projects range from theatre productions and public engagement events to community commissions and work within schools and universities. As part of our access and opportunity programme, we also run two associate groups: Grounded UK, which invests in young people’s training in Breakin’, understanding of cultural heritage and performance experience; and Lindy Kicks, an adult CIC Lindy Hop group drawn from our regular classes, who are all enthusiastic performers appearing at a number of festivals and public events across the year.

What will you be bringing to Up My Street?
We will perform ‘One Foot – One Step’, a short funky duet that celebrates the richness of style and connection between dance derived from the street, from Jazz to Hip Hop. We will also get the crowd going, in a fun follow the lead taster of social dancers to some seriously soulful dance music.

You are used to performing in theatres and for this you will be in a community centre with minimal lights and technical support. Why is this important to you?

From as far back as the mid nineties we have both been committed to sharing our knowledge and culture, including many years of rural touring, taking dance to diverse communities throughout the UK. Though we continue to be involved in theatre productions and large-scale events, in today’s current climate of social exclusion with young and old, and an increasing sense of cultural polarisation, we also feel it’s really important to keep investing in our grass roots local communities. As such, we are committed to staying connected to the wealth of talent, culture and knowledge these communities have, and value these opportunities to share our art as well as be inspired by the colourful and diverse people we meet.

You will be creating a Showtime series for Greenwich Dance in the Autumn. What will this be like and why do you think our audiences will enjoy it?

Our event in the coming Autumn will include a rich mix of performance, food, music, song, spoken word, dance and MC'ng. It will be an experience that immerses the audience in culture from around the globe, past and present, whilst also a celebrating home-grown music and dance. It will be an entertaining insight into the eclectic journey of Jazz from the Americas, to the Caribbean and the UK, including a sneak preview of Ragtime to Grime, Grounded Movement’s new production in development. Audiences coming will have a fabulous night out of live music, food, meeting new people and of course lots of fun.

What other work are you doing at the moment and how can we find out more about you and your upcoming shows?
Grounded Movement have a number of exciting programmes over the coming Summer and Autumn including Croydon’s Youth Performance Programme C3, due to run for 3 years; The Big Ball commission for Crystal Palace Festival 2020; Ragtime to Grime, our new production in development celebrating the evolution of culture and social change through jazz from Ragtime to Grime. Music and art festivals in the South and East with our eclectic Dance Through the Decades programme – details to be announced. We also run regular classes, training, performance and competitive opportunities in Breakin' (aka B-Boying), Jazz and Lindy Hop (aka Swing Dance). You can find out more at www.groundedmovement.com, FB @TemujinGrounded, Twitter @Groundedmoves, Instagram @groundedmoves/@groundedukcrew