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The Bridge Project Students take to the Stage!

June 20, 2017.

It has been an exciting time for our friends at The Bridge Project, who took to the stage in a DanceEast performance in Ipswich earlier in the year.

The Bridge Project is a local charity, that assists disadvantaged adults within the community. Eight members performed a production inspired by the short stories of children's author, Shaun Tan. Exploring tales of dreams and imagination in The Inkwell, through movement, animation and puppetry.

The social enterprise, which has a cafe in Gainsborough Street, joined organisations and schools from across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex. Choreographers from DanceEast visited The Bridge Project for rehearsals before two sell-out live shows.

Jo Searle, Chief Executive Officer at The Bridge Project, was thrilled with the positive impact it had on the students:

“Our students thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the DanceEast production of The Inkwell. It was a great experience and allowed them to focus on their talents, skills and explore their own imagination in new and exciting ways."

“After the show all the students said they really enjoyed the experience of being on stage and telling a story. There were so many people in the audience, it was great to see such support for a regional community production.”

Students from Sudbury's Thomas Gainsborough School took part in the production. Assistant Headteacher, Amie Butcher, said, "Our pupils said it was really uplifting to work alongside students from The Bridge and would really like to work in conjunction with them on another dance project. Our pupils showed maturity in their engagement with the Bridge Project and gave them positive praise and feedback.”

Naomi Brand, dance teacher at Stowupland High School in Stowmarket, said the 20 students from Years 7 - 9 who took part found the experience an incredible opportunity:

“It was a really good opportunity for our students to be part of a professional performance and work alongside people they don’t know. They not only learned about dance, but saw their own ideas incorporated into the final performance. It opened their eyes to new experiences and aspirations to achieve more than they imagined they could.”

Kerry Palmer-Long, Deputy Headteacher and Year 6 teacher at Chelmondiston Primary School near Ipswich, said pupils found the experience inspirational.

She explained: “Pupils came out saying it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, that it will be a lasting memory and they felt inspired. From my point of view it was wonderful to see children who may not normally have performed on stage, to do so, and see their confidence grow as a result.”

To learn more about The Bridge Project in Sudbury, visit their website or call 01787 313691.

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