Learn our history through dance and storytelling in Sanquhar this summer

A’ the Airts’ summer activity programme will be working in collaboration with “Nonsuch History and Dance” to celebrate and promote the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland.

The tutors from Nonsuch History and Dance are established experts in historical dance
The tutors from Nonsuch History and Dance are established experts in historical dance

Sanquhar’s Community Art Centre’s five-week school holiday programme will run from July 4-August 5.

The fifth week will allow the community to work with the professional dance theatre company and educational charity as part of the Year of Stories 2022.

The tutors from Nonsuch History and Dance are established experts in historical dance, and have worked on many projects internationally, including film and television.

Artistic director Darren Royston appeared on BBC Dancing Cheek to Cheek as dancing master to Len Goodman and Lucy Worsley, and has choreographed for the likes of the Harry Potter movies and Nicole Kidman in Queen of the Desert.

Project director and tutor, Penelope Boff, has had an international career in dance performance and education, in particular with the UNESCO International Dance Council, and now lives in Sanquhar.

Faye Maughan is a professional actress and dancer who works regularly in the UK’s drama schools.

From August 1-5 children are invited to explore historical wedding dances originally performed by Scottish princesses.

Through free workshops, children will be able to learn about historical dance and music, create art and costumes, write their own stories, perform drama and make a public performance – all based on these 15th and 16th century wedding dances including one taught to Mary Queen of Scots.

The youngsters can drop-in to the workshops on the Monday-Thursday from 10.30am-3pm in Sanquhar Town Hall and then on the Friday from 10.30am-12.30pm at A’ The Airts, before a performance in front on an invited audience at the town hall that afternoon from 1-4pm.

Meanwhile, adults can take part in free evening workshops to learn some of the dances that Robert Burns knew as a lad and create a dramatic performance based on his poem Tam O’Shanter from August 1-7.

The Dance and the Story workshops take place on the Monday from 6-8pm in A' the Airts Community Centre, and the Tuesday/Wednesday from 6-8pm in Sanquhar Community Centre.

The town hall will then host social dance evenings from 8-10pm each night as the Auld Alliance Ball takes place on the Friday, The Enlightenment Evening with Robert Burns on the Saturday and the Farewell Ball and Dance Party on the Sunday.

Marie Christie, head of development at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Nonsuch History and Dance through the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund.

"By supporting events taking place within our communities new opportunities are provided for both local people and visitors to come together and find out more about the diverse stories, past and present, that our communities have to share.”

Everyone is encouraged to give it a go, even if they have no experience, or more information visit www.nonsuchdance.co.uk/storytelling