Emily O’Shea

Dance Manchester talks to….

STRIDE artist, Emily O’Shea


Emily O’Shea sat down with Chris Connolly to talk about her first STRIDE project & the journey ahead…


Chris: Emily, as one of the brand-new artists on STRIDE, what excites you about working with the young men?

Emily: I find them so inspiring, they’re always incredibly creative without always being aware of how amazing the work is that they are creating. I think it is something we lose as adults, the innate ability to just think of something new or see something in a different way. I can’t wait to see the final performance, but then I suppose that means it is all over and sometimes, most of the time, the best bit is in the learning and creation.


CC: How was the first day of the project doing outreach yesterday?

EO:  The first day was fantastic! I was at the University of Salford with The Chorley and District Boys Dance Company and I was honestly blown away with not only their talent but their focus and creativity. The older boys were supporting the younger ones with choreography, making sure everyone was included and had their input in the creative tasks. We managed to create a short piece of dance including a phrase of choreography, plus 2 sections the boys created themselves, which was performed to their parents at the end of the session. They were such a pleasure to work with and I hope they are able to be involved with the try-outs, creative sessions and performance in April.


CC: Why do you think boys should join the STRIDE journey with you?

EO: They should join because it is going to be so much fun! They will get to meet a load of cool new people, young people that are in their area as well as brilliant artists; not to mention Kevin Turner, co-artistic director of Company Chameleon. They will get to experience something they may have never tried before and, you never know, be inspired to keep on dancing – or even better; keep on creating!


CC: Now we’ve begun, which part are you most excited for over the next few months?

EO: The creation of new work excites me the most, seeing the boys grow and develop throughout the process, gaining confidence in the movement they create themselves. I’m really looking forward to the week intensive as this will be when it all comes together. The boys will have the opportunity to be inspired by each other – make new friends, explore their own creativity. This will be the week it all comes together, piecing bits of everyone’s work together to create one incredible site specific piece.


STRIDE is our free young men’s dance project, presented in partnership with professional touring dance company, Company Chameleon. Dance with a difference. Get involved today!

Interview by Chris Connolly – DM’s Marketing & Social Media Co-ordinator

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