Community Dance with Alan Lyddiard and Tamara McLorg

Artist: Alan Lyddiard

Alan Lyddiard is an award winning theatre and film director, producer and writer working across the UK, Europe and beyond. Alanis best known as an advocate of the community art movement, international collaborations and ensemble theatre practice. He was Artistic Director of The Northern Stage Ensemble, Newcastle upon Tyne (1992–2005), Artistic Director of TAG Theatre Company, Glasgow (1988–1992) and Associate Director at Dundee Rep (1984–1988). His stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 has been produced in theatres worldwide, including long runs across USA, Germany and France.Since 2015, Allan has been working as an associate Artist with Mind The Gap Theatre. Mind the Gap is England’s largest learning disability theatre company that creates work for UK and international audiences.


Since 2014, Alan is the Artistic Director of The Performance Ensemble.  This company is an ensemble of older performers (60 years and above) from different cultural backgrounds, creating contemporary theatre for audiences of all ages. The Ensemble works in the space between professional, community and amateur arts, aspiring to create world-class theatre performance that emerges from the heart of communities.


A good example of The Performance Ensemble's work is Anniversary. It brings together world class dancers and ordinary people who are starting to perform for the first time in their lives in their 60s, 70s and 80s. Take Barbara, who assures a BBC journalist that ‘you just have to give these things a go’. She’d like to live to 90, she tells him. She’s 88.

Anniversary presents huge challenges. Performers struggle with the repeated action of moving up and down from chairs, the body less willing than it previously has been. All stage business is carried out by the company. Hundreds of balloons must be positioned, there must be a chair in the right place; otherwise a fellow performer will have nowhere to sit. Care must be taken and this care comes through very clearly – in this company people are looking after each other. There are smiles, a supportive arm, a little nod to reassure.


At ICAF, Alan Lyddiard and his colleague Tamara McLorg offer a 3-hour workshop. It is based on Anniversary and explores the idea that we all have stories to tell. These are not necessarily grand stories; they are often small, seemingly insignificant tales that become meaningful and teach us something about ourselves and the world we live in. Over three hours, we will dance, sing, tell stories and celebrate who we are through an authentic performance of ourselves. We can share the performance at ICAF for others.


Tamara McLorg has led community dance projects across the world for over 30 years. She has taught extensively within schools, Further Education institutions, community settings and Dance Festivals. She has taught children, youth, adults, people with learning challenges, people with physical disabilities and the elderly. She was awarded The Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Award for her contribution to Dance 2015 and was awarded an Honorary Life Time Membership Award from People Dancing for her contribution to Community Dance 2016.  In the past she has worked in Germany, Austria, Mexico, South Africa and Ethiopia.


Alan and Tamara's presence at ICAF is partly sponsored by The Performance Ensemble.

Thursday 30 March 13.30
Friday 31 March 13.30