Families being supported by a children’s hospice enjoyed a “truly magical day” after taking part in a workshop and being treated to an enchanting performance at DanceEast, in Ipswich.
The event was organised by DanceEast as part of its ongoing relationship with East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
Children, young people and families took part in a dance workshop and also got to watch a spellbinding dance-theatre production of The Little Match Girl, based on the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen.
“It was a wonderful day and we greatly appreciated the time, care and sensitivity the team showed,” said EACH counsellor Jayne Mann.
“They’d clearly put a lot of effort into creating a workshop that was inspired by the show and helped families prepare, given that it contained themes of grief and bereavement.
“It was very powerful and meaningful, given that these are subjects many can relate to. It gave them an understanding of what was to come.”
DanceEast has been working with EACH for the last decade, including being present at the yearly Treefest events, as well as hosting dance days and gig nights.
It celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2023 and programmed and commissioned The Little Match Girl in 2013.
It was the first performance current Artistic Director and Chief Executive Brendan Keaney OBE commissioned when he started at DanceEast.
“It was a truly magical day,” said Chrissie Meikle, Producer, Participation and Engagement.
“The families were wonderful and it was a joy to witness them getting stuck in and having so much fun.
“We’re proud of our relationship with EACH. It’s always magical, rewarding and heartwarming and we’ve had some great feedback. We’re looking forward to continuing this work in 2024.”
Among the plans for this year are a DanceEast ‘takeover day’, where families visit the studio and participate in workshops, culminating in DanceEast attending, running workshops, and performing at Treefest in June.
DanceEast is keen to hear from individuals and businesses interested in helping fund future projects with EACH. To find out more about the programme, email Chrissie.Meikle@danceeast.co.uk.
The Little Match Girl performance, and accompanying workshop, took place on Sunday, 17th December.