Celebrating the close of our 2022/23 Members Programme — Clean Break



A group of women perform site-specific dance piece A Wondering Willow Dreams in the black-box studio of Clean Break's building.

Celebrating the close of our 2022/23 Members Programme

Clean Break and The Place collaborate on a site-specific dance performance

Our Members Programme has finished for the summer, and we have been celebrating everyone’s hard work and creativity this year with a series of creative sharings at Clean Break.

These culminated last week with a special performance by Members of a site-specific dance performance, produced in partnership with The Place.

Although the core Members programme came to a close in early July, 11 women remained enrolled to participate in an additional Summer creative movement project, led by Sara Dos Santos, a London-based choreographer, movement director and cultural producer.

The group collaborated to produce A Wondering Willow Dreams, a site-specific immersive performance in which both dancers and audience members travelled from the Clean Break courtyard, into our welcome area, before ending in our black box space. The performance was accompanied with filmed projections, highlighting the gentle and detailed movements in sections of the piece. These were created by Nur Hannah Wan, with footage shot during the rehearsal process.

Sara Dos Santos says: “A Wondering Willow Dreams explores the beauty and wonderstruck rhythms of nature and drew inspiration from trees and nature to inform our movement and creative process. Our four-day explorative process commenced with play, individual movement inquiry and ended with a joy-filled collective contribution towards the creation of the final piece.

Thank you to The Place and Clean Break for this impactful opportunity to not only empower such incredibly talented individuals but also learn from a range of creatives at different stages of their careers.”

Maria Ryan, Creative Learning Producer for The Place, comments: “The Place and Clean Break have been working together for over 12 years and this relationship has developed from delivering short courses of dance classes at Clean Break to creative movement projects. This year’s project was an ambitious one and formed part of Clean Break’s summer intensive.

In just four days, the group created a performance installation piece that was site specific, with Sara Dos Santos, Darinka Bojarquez (a student from London Contemporary Dance School) and Clean Break Volunteer, Celeste Cahn.

The group performed with such clarity and confidence, which I could see had been gently nurtured throughout the rehearsals, and I was so proud of the maturity and professionalism of the performers and the movement they created. It felt like a very special development of the work we, The Place and Clean Break, have been building together over the years. I look forward to next year’s project!”

Their performance was followed by a collective lunch for Members, staff, volunteers and Trustees, where we were able to applaud all the women who participated in our Health & Wellbeing, Theatre Making, Writing and Creative Space programmes this season. Members took some time and space to acknowledge their achievements, and their experiences and development over the course of the year.

We also took time to acknowledge the commitments Members had made to volunteering throughout the year and thank those who generously volunteer their time to us.

This was an especially meaningful moment for the Clean Break community to come together, as it marked the close of the first year of in-person activity after the disruption of the pandemic.

Jacqueline Stewart, Clean Break’s Head of Participation and Deputy CEO, said: “Our women were pleased to have the first full year of the Members programme back in our amazing building. We ended with a huge joyful event to celebrate their achievements, attended by a mixture of women from our community. These workshops and the trauma-informed support, build confidence, self -esteem, skills, creativity and sisterhood. Congratulations everyone!”

Our building is now closed for redevelopment works until September, and whilst our Members’ programme may be over until then, our volunteers have put together a list of things to do and support resources for across the coming months. Clean Break Members can download it on this page of our website.

We can’t wait to welcome everyone back in the autumn for the start of the new season.

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