So after enjoying myself so much yesterday afternoon, I thought I’d get myself on down to the Cube again and see what was going on. The live feed over on http://www.mind-the-gap.org.uk/immovable/ showed that throughout the morning, the cube was being cleaned for the afternoon’s performance.
Now it was inevitable that sooner or later the Cube would have to surrender itself to a tirade of street dancers. It can’t exactly run away from them I’ll be honest; I’m a much bigger fan of the idea of street dance rather than the dance itself. However, the upshot in the number of community dance groups is astounding and I love that it does no end of good for children’s confidence, community spirit and fitness.
I settled down to watch what seemed like a hundred dancers from Kingstone School descend on Kendray Street. I spoke to Bronwyn Milner, one of the school’s teachers and dance coaches. She explained that the children were really excited to be able to perform in front of so many people and that they had been practising for quite some time.’ It appears that the dance session was one of the few events to be based around the cube that were pre-organised.
There were a number of groups taking part; Street Kings who were a small group of young, male body-poppers, Kingstone Come Dancing and Kingstone Cheer; the schools’ cheer leading squad.
I have to admit, I was more than impressed by Street Kings; especially Jason, whose face seemed to do as much dancing as his feet. I chatted to him afterwards. Jason explained to me what he thought the cube was about.
‘It’s been put there by a theatre company I think. It’s about getting different performers to dance on it and raise awareness. My group is called Street Kings and there are five of us here today but there are more of us as well.’ I asked his where they perform. ‘Mostly in Kingstone. There isn’t really anywhere else.’ He told me he’d been aware of the cube for a while. ‘It was hard not to tell anybody.’
It was nice to see so much enthusiasm. Most of the children there, including Jason, must have only been between eleven and thirteen and every one of them was eager to perform on the open stage that was the Cube.
Working for Mind the Gab was a motley crew of stage hands dressed in the kind of work coats and caps that Arkwright used to wear in Open All Hours. One of them rode what looked like a metal staircase welded to a go-kart. This he rode into place, right up next to the Cube so that performers could climb on and off of it safely.
They prepared themselves for a great run through the well known Thriller routine and when those girls screamed in unison it was so much more ear-shatteringly scarier than that the original Michael Jackson video.
As well as a dance off, the final routine saw every single performer come together for really cool performance along to Ike and Tina Turner’s Proud Mary. The crowd loved it and so did I. It was genuine treat.
Amongst the people there in support was one of the girls’ moms. She told me that although she didn’t really know what the Cube was about she really enjoyed seeing her daughter being given a chance to dance with an audience; which for me, surely is just another valid an explanation as to what IMMOVABLE may mean; an equal chance to anybody and everybody to perform .
Following the dance acts, we were treated to a bit of surrealist, vaudevillian, performance art when one of Mind the Gaps’ performers climbed on top of the now freshly turfed block, took off his anorak to reveal a 1920’s swimsuit and sat inside an full inflatable paddling pool and proceeded to splash and blow bubbles at the crowd for half an hour. Needless to say, some people loved it and others were frankly bewildered by it. I thought it was hilarious; especially when some scaly thought he’d climb on top of the cube and take the piss a bit. But once he got up there, he didn’t exactly know what the hell to do with himself and kind of embarrassed himself as he got splashed. However, him and everyone else stuck around regardless and watched the rest of the performances.It’s very rare we get treats like this; never mind a whole week full of them.
Another great day. And as I type this up and watch that live feed; someone is camped out on top of cube in a tent while about ten kids paint it and as usuall, there is a throng of people watching.
God… I hate the word “throng”. It’s such a local paper kind of word.
Once again, thank you to everyone who stopped and chatted and posed for pics.
There are many more photos over on our facebook page.
All words by Jason White. Find me on twitter @gaston_nothing
Part of ALTERNATIVE BARNSLEY and in association with COMING THROUGH THE TREES.
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