Performed on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 March 2016, The Magical Umbrella was a joint Dancefest and Music Pool production in partnership with The Courtyard.
The Magical Umbrella was performed by disabled and non-disabled dancers and musicians, the result of a dance, music and film project with Herefordshire and Worcestershire special schools.
It formed part of Dancefest’s Big Jigsaw integrated dance programme.
Taking part were Blackmarston and Marlbrook Primary, Westfield School, Barrs Court School, Regency High School, The Contact Course from Hereford College of Arts and Dancefest’s Jigsaw Performance Group and Elevate and Elevate Junior youth dance companies.
The Magical Umbrella helped us see the world through the eyes of Finn, a boy with a sense of adventure and a desire to put wrong things right, with the help of his magical umbrella.
Film Artist Jaime Jackson created the films for the performance, a visual reflection of Finn's Magical Umbrella journeys which included moving imagery captured from nature and selected in response to the dancers, and musicians.
The Magical Umbrella was a partnership project between Dancefest, The Music Pool and The Courtyard, kindly supported by Edward Cadbury Trust, Herefordshire Community Foundation, New Grove Trust, R D Turner Charitable Trust and The Bruce Wake Trust.
The project began in autumn 2015 with dance workshops in special schools in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Jaime filmed these workshops led by Dancefest’s dance workers and the footage was shown in the Courtyard’s foyer before the performances.
Jaime also created films shown as part of the performance and projected behind the dancers as they performed. They were a series of art films that reflected Finn's magical journey.
Part of the dance space was a locally sourced sweet chestnut and canvas construction made by the Herefordshire company, Castle Yurts, a cross between a yurt and a marquee designed to provide an outdoor/indoor sensory dance and moving image environment, produced through an Awards for All grant made to Blackmarston School.