Last week on Friday, 30th June 2017 we had the honour to host the final event of the Word Festival – an annual, month-long festival in Islington that celebrates reading and the power of words.
Our partner at 27 Dingley Place, All Change, is Creative Producer for the festival, collaborating with artists, libraries, community organisations and even Arsenal Football Club to put on events throughout June.
For this final one, All Change had invited some very special guests, who each brought stunning performances to the space.
Key Changes started off the musical performances, with a beautiful trumpet piece. Key Changes make music with people who have experience of mental illness, supporting wellbeing and recovery by offering opportunities to develop creative, technical and vocational skills.
Candoco Dance Company followed as the next act. Before the doors opened, they had laid out a long strip of paper on the floor. While people were mingling in the space, the performers (all wearing clothes covered in splashes of paint) filled the paper with drawings and writings that made us all curious about what was about to unfold.
Candoco bring dancers together regardless of their mobility, putting performers with physical disabilities at the heart of dance. They mixed dance, music and spoken word with drawing, writing and tearing the piece of paper on the floor as it unfolded. Particularly brilliant was the way the performers moved through the space, shifting the audience into different corners as they danced.
Cardboard Citizens working in partnership with Lyrix Organix followed with some powerful musical performances of rap and spoken word. They had created an EP in just two weeks, which included songs about topics the artists cared about – some of them were highly political, and seemed to resonate strongly with the audience. Together, the performers and the DJ earned a lot of applause as well as the occasional dance move from the Mayor…
The Mayor herself finally stepped onto the stage together with Tony Brown from Islington Libraries for a spoken word performance. We admired her courage and commitment to the full costume despite the sweltering temperatures…
Photos by Chris King | chriskingphotography.com