On the 26th April, Year 5 took to the Sands Centre stage for an excellent performance in U Dance, an annual national festival, which showcases children’s creativity and musicality. Once again, North Lakes School chose to use the festival as an opportunity to explore the highly emotive topic of the refugee crisis. We used the stimuli of picture books, video clips and photographs to provoke empathy and stimulate interpretive dance moves that would carry the emotion of the story that the children were trying to tell.
Our dance titled ‘A Journey of Hope’, begins with a mother and child embarking on a journey to flee their country in hope of a better, safer life. However, disaster strikes before they are able to leave the country, with the mother dying enroute. Alone and afraid, the little girl boards a boat destined for unknown lands, joining a long walk across the continent when she reaches land. As the journey unfolds, we see incredible strength and resilience from a small girl who has nothing, yet is subjected to more than most adults would ever have to experience in their lives. We see her break through a border despite a strong police presence and travel on with hope as citizens of these alien lands show resistance and hostility. Our dance ends in a moment of reflection, where the little girl prays for a break in the chaos of her current situation.
Although a fictional portrayal, the performance felt pertinent in the current situation that is unfolding across Europe. The children’s sense of maturity and empathy was astounding, using dance to highlight the human issues that brought the audience and organisers to tears. We hope that our message touched those that have watched it and provoked a dialogue of acceptance towards refugees that we may receive in Cumbria.
By Mrs Parkinson