Yesterdays child – An interactive contemporary urban ballet.

The concept

Yesterdays child is a dance performance with duel purpose. It is not only a professional production created for theatres which includes input in the form of video projects from children, but also a performance for children and schools with input in the form of video projections from professionals. By developing one facet of this piece, we will be simultaneously creating the other. As initially there will be input from both professionals and children. The piece will challenge transcend traditional methods of narrating by using a comic book style storyboard which will be projected onto the backdrop, allowing the audience to follow the story with ease. I am hoping that this will open the dance experience up to adults and children from across the socio economic spectrum.

The end result will be a new contemporary, urban ballet telling the story of the journey through one day in the life of our hero/heroin. Yesterdays child will examine how the influence of our childhood expresses itself in our adult lives, as well as how our aspirations as children toward adult life influence our actions and decisions throughout our maturing. The professional performance will focus on the adult who will intermittently reflect back on their childhood, and the performance for schools will focus on the child who will witness projections of the adult whom they wish to become.

This piece will be accompanied by original music, which I am composing myself and with the help of arts council funding will be completed by a number of professional musicians to be performed by orchestras, and professionally recorded for the online dance resource for schools.. The artwork for the comic strip background will be drawn by the children in the schools that are involved and myself and then digitsed with the help of Jack LLoyd from the house of bystander gallery. I have included some examples of my ideas for the music, artwork and choreography below.

In 2016 I completed a degree in professional practice in the Arts/dance. The degree was a work based learning degree which, with the exception of some generic modules, focused on and revolved around my work as professional dancer, choreographer and workshop facilitator. This course allowed me to focus on what and how dance is taught in schools and over what time frame. This gave me a clear picture of just what type of resource would enable schools use the completed yesterdays child project as a dance and choreographic resource. Please follow this link to read the paper that I wrote about this.

I would like to point to those schools and professionals who are involved that the funding required to develop this project will not be granted for projects based in school curriculum time and this project must be run out of hours. The resulting dance resources and performance (which will be developed almost as a bi-product as we document the creative proccess) can be made available for schools to create their own yesterdays child performance.

the nuts and bolts.

The choreography is being designed to be accessible by children and Non trained dancers as well as having parts for professionals. I have used my local beginners classes for adults and children to begin figuring this out and with the help of arts council funding, I can employ the talents of other dancers to develop this.

The music.

I have various ideas for the music which grow and change over time. I am still at the stage where I am sitting down at the piano and playing through those ideas. The aim for the music is to create both a musical score which can be played live by an orchestra of varying sizes, and recorded to be used as a resource for schools who wish to create their own yesterdays child piece.

‘A dream it seems’.

‘The woes of Jane Doe’.

‘The day ends’


The projected story board.

In order to offer a clear narration to the peice, the story will be projected in the form of a comic book story board with pictures and captions. The story board will be comprised of pictures drawn by the children and myself, digitised and ordered into the story board. Some examples of my scetches are below.



With the help of Jack LLoyd, digital artist. Any images used in the peice will be digitised and formatted for use in the story board.


This project will run over the course of an academic year and the production itself will take a following 12 months to complete. If the arts council bid is successful, the project will be ready to begin in September 2020.



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