Dance Films

Posted by indiap on November 30, 2016

Instep at 40

Instep -40 years and our story of Lockdown
( including all the links to our films through lockdown !) 

Just before lockdown we were preparing for another weekend with Boomerang Dance to complete the commission, we had begun the week before 
The boy’s (Male Order) and girl’s ( Sisters iNstep) projects were completed in the New Year and had gone into rehearsal period, the Companies were working to complete their second pieces
We were just weeks away from the Easter break and the MayaKara and Iisanmaaya projects, which had all been planned. 
This would have been quickly followed by the Spring residency when all the companies would have begun work on their third piece. 
We had agreed all the pieces for our Thursday Classes . 
We were getting excited as we looked to the final couple of months of intensive rehearsal period to get ready for our 40-year Anniversary shows
We had already prepared running orders for the various shows and I had begun to write the programmes.

And then shutdown…
It felt like it came suddenly, even though we expected it - I’m not sure we were ready for the duration and as the weeks went by it became obvious that this year’s special show , our 40 year anniversary would have to be cancelled.

The Instep machine went into action. 
There was no way we were going to leave our members without some dance activity and a vision of what to look forward to – however many months ahead that might be. 
We trialed live sessions via Facebook and decided this would offer us an immediate point of contact. Thank you to those teachers who stepped forward to embark on this new style Instep session 
India, Claire, Rob, Chris Tash and KJ 
We created a special Facebook page (Instep in Isolation) specifically for contacting our members through this period . (This is worth looking at as it still hosts those sessions and lots of other clips that Instep children send me of their own dancing at home during lockdown and as a result of our sessions )
We went live in April and delivered our sessions through April and into May – two sessions a week - one aimed at our Companies and one at our younger children. We delivered 14 sessions, and really enjoyed the feeling of being together. 
We organised various quizzes and competitions. 
Then we thought we would try a new way to deliver practical work – a way of specifically tailoring the work to the various classes. Instep teachers re – organized their homes and gardens to create sessions which they recorded. We uploaded them to Vimeo and sent them out to the various classes via e mail and Facebook. 
We have done this every week through May and June and July 
Thank you Chris, Claire,Tash. Rob, India, KJ & Abi for recording these sessions 

We released two films from the teaching teams to all Insteppers. 
Nick Dare became our film maker and I am indebted to him for the many hours he spent editing footage ! 
The first film came as a reminder that we were thinking of everyone and the words of the song said it all…. 

If you need me call me no matter where you are
No matter how far don't worry baby
Just call my name I'll be there in a hurry
You don't have to worry

A second film followed a month or so later to remind all Insteppers to “Keep on movin”

As we approached July and what would have been our intensive show rehearsal and performance period I wanted to gather footage of the Instep dancers – to bring them together through Film 

I asked Company 1 if they would like to be involved in creating a dance piece for film. To bring them into one creative space - They responded with some wonderful individual choreography which we shaped into a new film work which was released in July.
We chose a piece of music with lyrics which resonated with the times and the dancers found the meaning in the words beautifully – on their own without teacher support 
“ No matter what you’re going through – I will look after you “

At the same time I invited all Insteppers to contribute a short clip of themselves dancing to create a Festival Film to celebrate all Insteppers and the range and diversity of our work 
I was blown away by the number of contributions;

And this became our Festival Film which was released at the beginning of our “show week “

Meanwhile I was working with a young film maker Rebekah Arnold who I had asked to create our 40 year anniversary film which would have formed part of our live shows – but now it seemed relevant and important to release it at the end of “ show week “ a marker for 40 years of work with film clips spanning many years drawn from our extensive film archive 
Thanks to Rebecca Arnold for her work on this film

We made the decision to offer outdoor sessions which ran from July 15 th to the end of July 
We offered three weeks of outdoor sessions twice a week to reach our young Insteppers and our more experienced dancers 
More than 60 dancers from our various classes attended each week and all sessions were fully booked 
Thank you to Chris, Sian, Rob, India, Tash and Taz for delivering these sessions.
We spent one week in Palmarsh Park then we moved home “to Brockhill”
It was amazing to bring dancers together and see them in one space (albeit socially distanced) – see photos on attached copy of this story !
We have reached the end of July and now we’re going to take a break to use the time to plan for a new future with the support of Brockhill School 
We have taken steps to be Covid Compliant and have spent time and resources developing a new booking and payment system. We’ve updated the website to give as much information as we currently can about the future

We’ve developed various scenarios and are considering more, for our start up and feel comfortable in taking the lead from Brockhill, whose site and buildings have been carefully altered to provide the safest possible environment. We won’t be opening at the start of the new term ( we always wait a few weeks anyway to allow students to settle into school ) so we will let the school term start and then plan for our own re start as we assess the developing situation .
We hope you will stick with us and support us going into this uncertain future. We know the arts provide a vital way for children and adults to express themselves and we believe Instep provides a safe haven and a “family ethos” which has over time been an important place for lots of generations of young people to grow. We want to be there for them all and as soon as its safe we will do our very best to keep being all of these things to all who need us ! 
For now, have a happy and safe summer . With our love Jackie and the Instep Team x


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In her bag she carries ...

In 2015 Instep Dance Companies graduate company ‘Boomerang’ stepped into new territory in creating a dance for film entitled  ‘In her bag she carries’. The film is set in Folkestone and has been filmed and edited by Wigglyline Production, from Brighton

Boomerang Dancers are former Instep Dancers who are either now in formal professional dance training or who have returned to the region following their BA’s and MA’s in Dance.

Artistic Director of Instep, Jackie Mortimer says “Boomerang Dance were formed from a group of dance graduates who returned to the area after training and working in the professional world of dance. It felt important to me to develop them as a group of individuals with experiences, which were outside of teaching, but with a foothold in recent training. Their experiences can compliment the excellence we already have in teaching and choreography”.

The company gained funding from Arts Council England to spend time researching and developing the movement ideas for the film  under the direction of Becky Butler. After completing this process it seemed right to put the material to a new project, and the idea to create a film seemed like the perfect platform.

On a sunny day at the end of September the Boomerang dancers were joined by Wiggly Line Production company and headed to Folkestone to film ‘In her bag she carries. The film beautifully captures iconic locations in Folkestone such as The Leas, The Harbour Arm, and Kings North Gardens.The piece loosely follows a narrative of a woman who ‘carries her baggage with her’. Her thoughts and memories are unpacked in a series of episodes. The dreamy feel to the film is enhanced by the accompaniment, especially created fir the film by Dougie Evans.

Danced by KJ Mortimer, Kai Downham, Zack Dennis, Conner Fortune, and Joe Darby.

The film was premiered at the Autumn Showcase in November 2015 at our host school Brockhill Performing Arts College. Following this the film has be posted on the Instep's Youtube Channel and been shown in DanceFestivals around the country over 2016.

To view the film visit


Living is a Doorway ...

Following three weekends of research in the studio the company gathered on a cold and windy day at the end of March to create Instep’s second film with Wiggly Line Production. The Vivekamayas worked with choreographer Abi Mortimer , one of the Artistic Directors of Instep’s professional partners Lila Dance, and  Joe Darby, teacher at Instep.

On creating work with the Vivekamayas Abi said ‘"It has been (and always is) a rich and inspiring process. I have been very lucky in that these group of women are happy for me to lead them to playful and experimental places and they engage with the process with equal playfulness and joy. This project has challenged me to find new modes of language to communicate with our audiences in a way that is meaningful and relevant. As a choreographer who is a couple of generations younger than these women, I listen to the dancers when exploring the content of our work and believe that their voice is the one that needs to be heard.

The film follows 7 fabulous female dancers who rock suits better than men!  Take a moment to notice who they really are and then consider that they are also shameless fashionistas, Magritte impersonators, and extroverted fans of Ziggy Stardust! Frame them within the real world but not one as predictable as the one we know. Construct a door, use it to enter a new place, a new time, a new mood.Witness their private realities and dance to the tune of their grooves. With sharp shooting and a hyper-real sound score indulge in this joyful journey safe in the hands of women who know how to do life's locomotion!

Artistic Director of Instep Dance Company Jackie Mortimer says ‘We made the film in order to create a wider platform for the work of Instep and also to celebrate our Company of elders. We felt the medium of film was an excellent way to celebrate their achievements, personalities and to be inclusive of every ability and age within the group. Creating a work for film was a really positive way to include everyone fully, whilst also celebrating the beauty of our local area’

The film premiered at the annual Instep Summer Show during the Sold Out gala evening on 20th July 2016 at Instep’s host school Brockhill Park Performing Arts College.  Following this the film has be posted on the Instep Youtube Channel and will be entered in to Dance Film Festivals around the country over 2016/17 including the Women over 50 Film Festival in Brighton where it won 2nd place against  over a 100 international entries.

To view the film visit