The next few posts have been curated by photographer Roswitha Chesher.
Greenwich World Cultural Festival took place every summer for nine years as part of Royal Greenwich Festivals supported by Royal Borough of Greenwich. It was a popular family festival set within the historic grounds of Eltham Palace and included dance, music, theatre, art, crafts and circus from around the world.
Greenwich World Cultural Festival. Photo by Roswitha Chesher
Visitors could explore the grounds of Eltham Palace for free, and experience pop-up performances, live music, and creative activities for all ages. Those wanting to join in could do so, with workshops in Caribbean dance, ballroom, Lindy Hop and breaking as well as gamelan, arts and crafts, and face painting. Alongside professional dance and circus acts local community groups were also included such as dancers and musicians from the local Mauritian community.
Artist in Residence Maria da Luz Ghoumrassi. Photo by Roswitha Chesher
“Reflecting back on my long life experience with Greenwich Dance is the realisation that I always had the power and freedom to what I wanted to do creatively in my sessions. My approach, styles, techniques I used were always welcomed. I really appreciated it once I worked with other organisations. This has carried on to the new Greenwich Dance which has gone through turbulent times but is now emerging as a sort of Nomadic entity absorbing the communities it brushes through creating healing arts in the community. ❤️”
Maria da Luz Ghoumrassi
Many of the artists who featured in this programme have continued to work closely with the organisation. Sunanda Biswas performed as part of our Ragtime to Grime Bring it Home Tour and in our Lindy Hop Social Nights; Maria da Luz Ghoumrassi is now one of our very first Artists in Residence delivering our Dance for Wellbeing programme and leading the artistic direction of our Adult Performance Company; and Sally McKay, well known local fine artist, continues to work with us on our Summer in the Park festival activity (no family event worth its salt should be without her drawing or clay making workshops!)
Ragnhild Olsen, a dancer, teacher and provider of the knitting workshops as part of the World Cultural Festival, doubled as the organisation’s Finance Manager until 2021 – and referred to herself as Auntie Hilda whilst taking everyone under her wing of care.
A Lindy Hop workshop inside Eltham Palace. Photo by Roswitha Chesher