Mulberry Dance Company began as an extra-curricular programme for students who had already completed a qualification in Dance GCSE. It emerged in response to a number of students wishing to continue to develop and enjoy their practice of dance and who had not opted for a further formal qualification.
It started as a weekly two hour class on Friday evenings in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Dance’s Step into Dance programme. This enabled participants to continue to strengthen their technique while focusing and shaping their work towards performances both within the borough and further afield. Performances at prestigious venues such as Sadler’s Wells, Southbank Centre and the National Dance Teachers’ Association conference at The Royal Opera House followed. From this students were inspired to continue seeking to refine and develop their work.
Alongside the Step into Dance programme, Mulberry has a history of partnership work with dance companies, including Shobana Jeyasingh Dance and Green Candle. In July 2012, the school embarked on an ambitious project with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, entitled Strata. This entailed a week-long residency of development and rehearsals at RichMix arts centre in order to create a site specific performance within the local area. The chosen location was a small public space called Arnold Circus in Bethnal Green, a place of significance in local history on which the piece was devised and performed. The intensive process gave students an insight into the world of a professional dancer. At this point, it felt that the time was right to formalise the extra curricular dance programmes that Mulberry were offering into a framework that could cultivate the school’s aspiration to provide dance training with an industry approach and Mulberry Dance Company (MDC) was established.
The company have a junior and senior division and meet weekly to choreograph pieces for both internal and external events. The company collaborated with Mulberry Theatre Company for 2014’s Edinburgh play The Domino Effect enabling the development of a highly physicalised style.
Mulberry Dance Company would love to hear from those who are interested in collaborative projects and partnerships with this new company who are at an exciting point in their development.