YOUNG dancers got the experience of a lifetime when they got the opportunity to perform on a London stage.
Maltby Phoenix Sword Dancers performed at the prestigious Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank as part of U.Dance, a festival organised by Youth Dance England.
U.Dance is a national celebration of youngsters performing all forms of dance and the Maltby group were chosen to represent the north and north-eastern sword dance traditions.
Maltby Phoenix’s squire Paul Davenport said: “For a Maltby team to be asked to partake in any London based event in an Olympic year was always going to be a bit special but then Maltby Phoenix Sword are no strangers to the limelight.”
“Of course this was a great responsibility, but from the moment that ‘Betty’ Megan Edgar, sang the calling-on song the audience was entranced. Our team performed with customary vigour and rigour and won the hearts of the audience in London’s South Bank complex.”
“It was a wonderful experience for our young dancers, set the standard for our older team and ensured that the name of Maltby is on the tip of the tongue when anyone speaks of the English sword dance.”
Before the event the group visited the Southbank and gave impromptu performances outside landmarks such as the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and British Film Institute, much to the delight of locals and tourists.
Rachel Elliot, education director for the English Folk Dance and Song Society, said: “I received excellent verbal feedback from the director and performance manager of Youth Dance England, as well as staff from the Southbank Centre. Maltby Phoenix Sword made a particularly striking impression.”
“They did a great service to English folk dance by making such a positive impression on the leading national organisation for young people’s dance.”
“I know this will bare valuable fruit in the future. It simply would not have been the same show without them.”
To discover more about Maltby Phoenix Sword visit www.maltbysword.co.uk