Image: Chris Nash
A London dance theatre company have worked with a group of refugees from across the world to create their new performance piece.
The scheme ended in a performance at The Place.
Anwar, one of the refugee performers, said: “For me it is an amazing project that I enjoyed. I studied the language, I met nice people, and got a new experience with this kind of art. It was amazing.
“I really enjoyed the dance aspect. Last week I joined a salsa class, I want to continue it. It gives me good results in my body and mind.”
“One of the best things I got from it was meeting people from different cultures. We talked a lot and shared our traditions, and got to spend a nice time together for three weeks. I made friends.”
The performers were from countries across the globe, including Turkey, Colombia, the Sudan and Abkhazia.
Protein have a history of similar performances, with a previous project seeing them work with young people at the Pupil Referral Units.
Luca Silvestrini, Artistic Director of Protein said: “It was fantastic, and we had a great reaction too from the audience and the performers.
“I am passionate about the benefits that dance can offer vulnerable people and the transformative effect it can have on people’s lives.”
This project came at a difficult time for the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, as it is threatened with closure if it cannot find additional money.
The centre offers daily language classes, support services and hot meals to refugees, and has previously worked with Protein on the 2013 show Border Tales.
Andy Ruiz Palma, Project Manager at the Islington Centre, said: “We have developed such a great mutually supportive relationship with Protein and their understanding of how to work best with those most in need is so valuable to a project like ours.
“The benefits are both immediate and long lasting with participants enjoying each and every session and then discovering dance as a way to express oneself which in turn improves well-being and contributes to our inclusive sense of community.”
This project was part of the Real Life Real Dance scheme by Protein.
Protein are a dance company based in Greenwich. For more information on this scheme, and more, please click here.