Glorious weekend of diversity and dance in Hastings, Bexhill and Battle

'Moon'  performed by the 2Faced Dance Company at the  De Le Warr Pavilion SUS-180828-131627001
'Moon' performed by the 2Faced Dance Company at the De Le Warr Pavilion SUS-180828-131627001

Apparently there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but when it comes to free, first class entertainment such as the recent Journeys Dance Festival, the local area comes up trumps every time.

Billed as ‘a glorious weekend of diversity and dance’ the free dance festival, Journeys, returned last weekend for its fifth year.

The Urban Playground Team perform Zoo Humans at'Battle Abbey SUS-180828-130758001

The Urban Playground Team perform Zoo Humans at'Battle Abbey SUS-180828-130758001

Journeys Dance Festival is produced by local event company 18 Hours, an organisation with a passion for promoting diversity through its events.

The festival offered three very contemporary dances from very different parts of the country, entertaining hundreds of people of all ages in Hastings, Bexhill, and Battle.

The event began in front of historic Battle Abbey on Saturday (August 25) with the performance-parkour show, Zoo Humans. The show was delivered by internationally acclaimed parkour pioneers The Urban Playground Team, Between shows, audience members participated in a parkour workshop.

Later that day, on Saturday evening, the Stade, Hastings came alive for Southpaw Dance Co’s enthralling Carousel. Mandy Curtis, Director of 18 Hours, says this fairground inspired dance drama was performed on a revolving carousel to an infectious Balkan and Gypsy influenced score. “We were delighted to see so many people turn out for the performance and the feedback we’ve received has been excellent,” she said.

Moon performed by 2Faced Dance Company

Moon performed by 2Faced Dance Company

“The evening began with fiddle and guitar on the carousel by local folk duo Garry Blakeley and Bear Lucas.”

On Bank Holiday Monday, The Terrace at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, hosted Moon, a skilful dance circus production that Mandy says captivated even the very young, adding: The two shows were audio-described to help audience members follow the story of Jack and the Moon.”

One visitor, Ben said: “Our two year old was entranced. And the dragon was the best thing, really cleverly done!”

Journeys is mainly funded by the Arts Council, England with funding from Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council and others.

Garry Blakeley, fiddler at The Stade SUS-180828-131616001

Garry Blakeley, fiddler at The Stade SUS-180828-131616001

Since 2014, Journeys has brought a culturally varied programme of outdoor dance spectacles to three locations over one weekend, engaging all ages and abilities in new dance experiences.

Shows are always free.

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The Urban Playground Team SUS-180828-130747001

The Urban Playground Team SUS-180828-130747001

Carousel by Southpaw dance company

Carousel by Southpaw dance company