Ragtime to Grime rehearsals. Photo: Alicia Clarke
“This is a rehearsal picture taken for Ragtime to Grime by Grounded Movement which was an initiative to bring dance to people’s front gardens and revive culture post-lockdown. It was taken in Greenwich Dance’s temporary home – Charlton House. I love how elegant Adrian looks in this photograph. Greenwich Dance has always championed new work and supported emerging artists and was there for me right at the start of my career as well as for this shoot many years later- my first coming out of lockdown. They may have moved building several times over their lifetime, but the heart of their work, nurturing talent and bringing people together remains the same.“
When theatres closed in 2020 Greenwich Dance brought a specially crafted 7 minute show Ragtime to Grime: The Bring it Home Tour to the pavements and front doors of household ‘bubbles’.
The bite-sized show was based on Grounded Movement’s cutting-edge production Ragtime to Grime which was originally developed in collaboration with the late hip hop artist Ty who died in April 2020 of Covid.
Temujin Gill in rehearsal. Photo: Alicia Clarke
Featuring original music by Nick Ramm, the show also marked Black History Month by exploring the stories of troubled young people mentally adrift and disenfranchised throughout history. It highlighted the cathartic impact of music, and the power this has to anchor us in our own lives.
The company toured to a different geographical area each day and audiences were encouraged to book the show for their own household. It also took place in public spaces, in school playgrounds and was streamed live on Facebook twice. In addition, a Zoom Q&A ‘Artist in Conversation’ took place.
Sunanda Biswas and the cast of Ragtime to Grime. Photo: Alicia Clarke
The show was offered on a pay-what-you-can basis and all box office proceeds were shared between the freelance company of performers, choreographer and production manager in addition to their weekly wages, in support of the artistic communities who had seen their livelihoods evaporate during this pandemic.
An accompanying series of online blog features also sought to share the history of the genre and a series of films made each day of rehearsal aimed to share the process behind the shows making.
“Having the opportunity to develop and adapt this new piece for a doorstep tour during the Pandemic was an absolute honour and privilege. Artists and public alike were bereft of live arts experiences. I personally felt pretty isolated from the outside world, and this initiative by Greenwich Dance gave us both employment and a chance to continue to cultivate our creative and expressive voices, and more importantly the platform share this with others. Greenwich Dance continues to be a beacon of opportunity and support for both artists and the community to develop and engage with eachother.”