Young audience members get to try Jonathan's viola da gamba

Young audience members get to try Jonathan’s viola da gamba

On Saturday 17th May Ballet in Small Spaces performed Two old instruments in St Helen’s Central Library as part of the Cultural Hubs programme of Arts in Libraries funded by Arts Council England.  This programme is designed to encourage those who might not approach arts venues such as theatres and concert halls to sample arts events and performances in the more relaxed and familiar setting of the public library.  St Helen’s boasts a spacious and light library building, with tall windows and a dignified presence in Victoria Square at the town centre by the Town Hall.  Jonathan and I were made welcome by Jess Bowstead and Owen Hutchings of the Cultural Hubs programme; we did two performances in the children’s library, an open space with a good floor surrounded by chairs and a couple of comfy sofas. Our first a family friendly show attended by children and parents, with some commentary and explanation and a chance for a group of young admirers to have a go on Jonathan’s viol, while I discussed shoes and costume with adult viewers and gave some instruction in the basic minuet step…

Learning the minuet step

Learning the minuet step



Ballet live broadcast on Radio Merseyside

Ballet live broadcast on Radio Merseyside

An interview with Radio Merseyside and then another complete performance, with more questions at the end.  This was the first time that BiSS has performed in a library, but hopefully not the last: it was delightful to present the work in this intimate and informal setting; and we have had some lovely feedback comments, here is a small sample:

“Absolutely amazing.  This is the first time I’ve seen dance so close – loved it!”

“A lovely way to spend time on a Saturday.  We liked the music and the instrument as we had never seen one before.  Very informative.”

“Brilliant I loved everything about it!  The spoken information was informative but not overwhelming + the dancing is so graceful and ideally suited the space.”

“Fabulous interesting piece.  I know nothing about ballet or classical music but enjoyed it.  Really nice hearing the artists speak about the work.”

Thank you St Helen’s!


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Susie Crow