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The three-week programme offers support and development to freelance professional dancers not currently able to train or perform due to COVID-19.

Tracing Movement, founded and led by choreographer Stuart Winter, today announces Tracing Movement ReBoot, a three-week programme offering support and development to freelance professional dancers and those recently graduated who are not currently able to train or perform due to restrictions caused by Covid-19.

The programme offers two free daily classes for a group of 90 professional dancers to rebuild and maintain their skills during this extended break, so they are prepared to perform as the industry reopens. In addition, there will be one class per day for 2020 dance graduates from theatre colleges including Laine Theatre Arts, Bird College and Performer's College whose final year of training was disrupted as a result of the pandemic.

The programme will culminate in the creation of a short dance film, with six professional dancers employed to perform on the stage of the Theatre Royal Stratford East without an audience. The film will reference this unique time in history where performers are unable to connect with an audience, while still providing an exciting opportunity for creative artists to collaborate. It will be made with regular collaborators DOP Ben Thomas and Editor Greg Bernstein, and released online for free at the end of November.

Classes run daily from 19th October at the Jerwood Space, taught by Stuart Winter and his associate Natasha Volley with a live musician.

Stuart Winter said today, "I will always fight for dancers in the industry, I want to make sure they are visible, respected and valued in a way that reflects their talent and training. We as an industry have all been working so hard to stay alive and creative during the pandemic and the funding received for this project offers the chance to invest in dancers' skills, health and future, providing space and time to rebuild and propel them back into our industry. Creating a dance film also gives us the chance to bring some life and purpose back to the stage, the majority of which are currently empty; and provide an opportunity for these six dancers to reconnect with their physical voices. We are hoping this will be only the first of many Tracing Movement ReBoot programmes supporting our industry's dancers."

In addition, documentary-maker James Harris, will be filming a selection of classes and participants to capture and highlight the issues facing the industry and the demands on those individuals working to maintain an elite athletic skill. This documentary will be released at the end of November in conjunction with the dance film.

The health and safety of all staff and participants is of the utmost importance and Tracing Movement have been working closely with the venues to ensure hygiene protocols and social distancing can be maintained throughout the whole programme.

Tracing Movement ReBoot has been made possible through generous support from individuals and organisations including Actor/Producer Peter Land, Jerwood Space and Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Stuart Winter is a choreographer, dancer, director and educator. His performing career included West End productions of Chicago, An American in Paris, Mary Poppins, Chess, Pajama Game and Sunset Boulevard and he has been an associate to Christopher Wheeldon, Stephen Mear and Chrissie Cartwright.

Stuart has created seven dance films for Tracing Movement, working with collaborators Greg Bernstein (editor) and Ben Thomas (DOP), including the pas-de-trois Focal Point, The Heavyweight which used 24 dancers, and most recently Tracing Movement Together which was created online during lockdown and featured over 100 dancers from 17 countries.

Natasha Volley is a deaf dancer, choreographer and director. She has been Stuart Winter's associate since 2013 and has also assisted Mark Smith (Deaf Men Dancing) and Ashley Nottingham. As a dancer she has worked in theatre, film, tv and pop videos for choreographers including Stephen Mear, Drew McOnie and Carrie-Anne Ingrouille.

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