Host 2024: Celebration of Dance and Age at DanceEast

Host 2024: Celebration of Dance and Age at DanceEast

HOST – Wednesday 1 May

HOST is DanceEast’s biennial festival of dance and age that challenges assumptions about the capabilities of older people and champions excellence in community dance groups. HOST gives older people the opportunity to find the joy in dance, and this fourth edition will welcome up to 100 participants from across the country to the DanceHouse in Ipswich.

Co-curated by DanceEast working with EncoreEast, the Ipswich based performance dance company of seventeen dancers aged 56 to 82, HOST will include dance workshops, discussions, dance films from around the world, and live performances by companies from across the country.

The day will conclude with a special performance of Luca Silvestrini’s award-winning In the End we Begin. Created with dancers from EncoreEast (Ipswich), Cadenza (Norwich), Damn Fine Dance (London), and The Place (London), it embraces individual works by Alethia Antonia, Laura Anderson, Alleyne Dance, Molly Wright and Luke Birch. Premiering at DanceEast, it toured to Norwich Playhouse and The Place in London in October 2023.

“I found the whole thing so moving, the passion, the tenderness and caring that was expressed was just beautiful. I was actually moved to tears as it had such a profound effect on me… I think seeing so many older people luxuriating in their ability to move their bodies and to express the feeling through dance is magical. It felt like therapy for the soul.” – Audience feedback on In the End we Begin

For HOST, In the End we Begin has been re-visited and reworked choreographically. The cast of 28 includes many of the original dancers and some new ones. The work embraces quiet, intimate moments, gentle humour and fast-paced celebration, reflecting the diverse emotions we experience through the cycles of life.

“It was a game changer, completely opened our minds and our aspirations about what older dancers can do.”In the End we Begin dancer

Luca Silvestrini won the One Dance UK’s Award for Artistic Innovation in February 2024 for In the End we Begin. It is amongst the country’s largest and most innovative projects involving older dancers. The idea emerged from HOST 2022, demonstrating that HOST is a vital catalyst for creativity and ambition.

Brendan Keaney OBE, Artistic Director and CEO of DanceEast said:

“I was genuinely inspired by EncoreEast’s vision to curate such ambitious opportunities for older dancers. I am both delighted and proud of all they have achieved with this project producing Luca Silvestrini’s award-winning In the End we Begin.”

There are a handful of tickets available to watch the performance of In the End we Begin on Wednesday 1 May at 5.45pm.

Photo credit: Roswitha Chesher