On The Border: Celebrating Community

by Emily O’Shea

Why rural touring? 

This is a question that has been asked many times and one I continue to ask my self. 

When everything is stripped back, for me, it comes down to community. 

Community dance has been a big part of my career over the past 5 years. As I am shifting in a new direction towards making and choreographing dance, community dance still holds a big piece of my heart. I have met and worked with so many different people from different backgrounds who have inspired my work. As a choreographer it is therefore important for me to bring people into the work I create and bring the work I create to a wider community. 

On The Border was born out of a desire to find out more about my own family, to explore a heritage and culture that I knew was mine but had no connection to. Through this process I have found out so much more than I ever thought I would. I have found my roots, the family who are here to anchor me and the stories of those that came before. Stories of strong women who laid the path. Through conversations over cups of tea, stories were shared about family and belonging. People being there for each other, opening their homes and hearts. 

It felt significant to set the piece in a kitchen. A place where stories are told. A place where people come together. A place where food is shared, washing is done and comfort is sought. The centre of a home. Community centres, church halls, libraries all have these same feelings, spaces of gathering, conversations and connection. This work is a celebration of those things.

On the Border, by Emily O’Shea Company presented in partnership with Cheshire Rural Touring Arts, at Tarvin Community Centre, Meadow Close, Tarvin, CH3 8LY on 31st January 2020 from 6.30pm.

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