- School children form their own dance company for project exploring neuroscience.
- Work inspired by a visit to the University of Birmingham’s Medical School.
- Project to promote arts, science and culture and the use of local community centre.
Last month children from Oasis Academy Hobmoor, Yardley in Birmingham joined forces with Coventry-based digital-dance company Mercurial Arts in a unique collaboration to create a new dance performance for their community.
Chaotic Liquid Network was an innovative exploration into the brain, and a way of promoting the Community Centre attached to the school. The Community Centre has never been open to the public and this was the first arts event held in the space since it was built in 2007. The project performance and subsequent exhibition attracted 500 people over three days.
The sixty Year 5 pupils were inspired by a visit to the University of Birmingham’s Medical School where they undertook a day of experiments looking into the workings of the brain. The 9 – 10 year olds discussed complex questions such as, ‘Where do ideas and movements come from in the body?’ Led by Dr. Alex Conner of the University of Birmingham Medical School, the visit stimulated thought and imagination. Dr. Conner said:
‘It is a challenging subject for the children, and took them to the forefront of our current knowledge and science about how the brain works’
Using technology such as digital mapping and projections, the children created a dynamic dance piece exploring how they perceive the brain and how thought processes work.
Mercurial Arts’ Artistic Director Oliver Scott said:
‘The Chaotic Liquid Network has been a distinctive way to engage children in dance and
science. The project has enabled the children to get to grips with some complex ideas in
science and asked them to stretch their thinking. I really enjoyed seeing how the children
took to a project that crosses subjects and art forms. It opened their creativity and stimulated
new ideas. They raised their game to create and present a complex beautiful performance.’
Paul Tarry, Principal of Oasis Hobmoor said:
‘Working alongside other professionals and artists helped the children achieve things they wouldn’t have thought possible. It expanded their horizons and the quality of the work they produced was exceptional. The pupils loved it and surprised themselves. As an academy that is just the sort of thing we are striving to achieve.’
The collaboration was the first of many projects to promote arts, science and culture in the school. It has acted as a catalyst to bring the community centre back into use and explore its full potential to promote the arts and culture in the Yardley area of Birmingham.