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Blurring boundaries with Brewband in the Borders

Borders youngsters aged 14-26 years are being invited to join Scotland’s new super band in blurring boundaries and challenging people’s perceptions of identity.

Created by award winning disabled choreographer Marc Brew, Brewband is an inclusive music and dance performance company which brings together top Scottish rock artists Graeme Smillie, Jill O’Sullivan and Peter Kelly with talented dancer/musicians Martyn Garside, Marta Masiero and Alice Sheppard.

In conjunction with Live Borders and their Borders Live Touring scheme two Brewband shows will take place in the region next month. The company will bring their inclusive and explosive performance to the Eastgate, Peebles, on Wednesday, May 3 (7.30pm) and MacArts, Galashiels on Thursday, May 4 (7.30pm).

Becki Hodgson, Rural Touring Development Officer, Live Borders said: “We are delighted to be hosting Brewband in the Scottish Borders.

“This engaging initiative offers both the company and individuals the opportunity to share their work with different audiences who often have fewer opportunities to experience dance and music in fantastic venues.

“Dance is sometimes underrepresented when it comes to rural touring and one of our aims is to support and develop more work by and for young people and from people from diverse backgrounds.”

The performances will meld rock music with Marc Brew’s distinctive choreography, to create an exciting show, as much a music gig as it is a dance performance.

Brewband aims to engage with young people across Scotland during their current tour by giving them the opportunity to develop skills and increase their health outcomes through dance and music based activity.

“Through the activity we will particularly focus on giving disenfranchised young people, especially those with physical disabilities and those struggling with gender issues,” explained Marc Brew.

“As our work to date as a Company demonstrates, it is these individuals who are frequently excluded from physical performance and activity.”

The project will also offer a chance for local youngsters to take part in the show itself.

Marc added: “Through an invitation to rehearsals, workshops and mentoring support we wish to tease out the skills and ambitions of each young person and ensure that they gain key transferable skills that can be applied to the work inside, and outside of the arts.”

“We hope to encourage an understanding of diversity within the community through exploring issues of identity and to challenge the labels we often find ourselves boxed in and the perceptions society has around stereotypes of genre, style, sexuality, disability and race.”

This is an area in which Marc has particular experience and knowledge, having been a ballet dancer before a car accident left him paralysed and having to re-think what it is to be a dancer with a different body type.

A musician from the company will act as a mentor; working with young bands/musicians to develop sounds that explore and respond to these issues of identity, whilst at the same time, a dance artist will work with others to express their ideas through a physical response.

Final work will be developed into and culminate in an open showcase, delivered with the support of the entire Marc Brew Company.

Rehearsals for the Galashiels performance are scheduled at MacArts 10.30am – 4pm on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April while Peebles’ rehearsals are already underway.

For more detail or expression of interest contact Amanda Glasgow on 07889 259 401. 

You can also watch a promotional video for the show by clicking here.

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