There is a saying that “the sun shines on the righteous” and shine it did on Sunnyside Park this weekend….
Tiger Carving in Sunnyside Park
- This weekend All The Skills returned to Sunnyside Park, Great Lever, Bolton to be part of the annual community fun day. However, this year was extra special as the park has also secured funding to produce a wild flower garden and at the day there was live wood carving resulting in a fantastic tiger sculpture. The tiger was designed by local children and will be a focal point of the garden.
Kate hard at work with local children making flower
To celebrate the new flower garden Kate worked with local children to produce several large decorative flowers to be hung in the garden as well as individual sparkly/glittery flowers to take home.
a beautiful flower ready to be displayed
Sean and Naomi were kept busy helping residents young and old to master a variety of circus skills before sending everyone home with a balloon animal.
Let’s hope that despite Council cutbacks this event will continue to happen. As organiser Donnette Foster says,
“These days are all about getting the community out on the park having fun together…”
Maggie from The Lawrence Batley Theatre taking part in the circus workshop
All The Skills have previously worked with The Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield on several occassions bringing circus skills, visual art and dance to different groups.
Last Sunday the LBT invited All The Skills to run a circus workshop in their “Imagine Tent” as part of the activities at Crosland Moor Allstars Fun day. Participants had a go at plate spinning, diabolos, flower stick, juggling, poi spinning and making their own balloon animals.
As our workshop was only an hour long Sean and Naomi decided to make the most of the other activities available…a rare treat when usually we are working all day at these kind of events. Sean had an ice cream (proper ice cream not that stuff pumped through a machine!) and Naomi had her face painted!
It was also a chance to meet up with a few old friends…the Sound Jata West African drummers who we worked with on the Fire in the Sky event and Kate Woodfield visual artist extraordinaire. Kate will be back with us in a few weeks at Sunnyside Park in Great Lever.
SoundJata African drummers
Naomi getting into character after having her face painted
All The Skills always finds the people of Bolton to be welcoming and we were pleased that the people attending Tonge Carnival enjoyed meeting Terrance the Chinese lion.
Terrance and his musicians made their Bolton debut in a parade to start the event. Also in the parade representing All The Skills was Naomi, on stilts handing out fortune cookies and continuing the Chinese theme, Sean with his diabolos. The parade had many people from different community groups and schools in the Tonge area and was so much fun that it followed the parade route twice!
After a circus workshop session, Naomi took to her stilts again to assist Terrance, Buddha and the musicians in a short performance at the main stage. Following the performance Naomi and Sean went into a frenzy of balloon modelling until the end of the wonderful event.
Naomi offers Terrance a lettuce
Terrance takes the lettuce
Terrance decides to share the lucky lettuce with the crowd
Naomi and Sean attended the launch of the 2010 Prestwich festival. Naomi towered above the crowds handing out fortune cookies. The cookies proved so popular that at one point a joke was required from anyone who wanted a cookie.
The Prestwich festival is now in it’s second year and runs for 35 days
THE AIMS OF THE PRESTWICH FESTIVAL ARE
1: To bring people into Prestwich – supporting local businesses.
2: To bring Prestwich’s diverse communities together.
3: To provide an opportunity for local people/groups to showcase their talents.
4: To raise funds for local charities and community projects.
5: To create success stories associated with Prestwich.
Details of the forthcoming events can be found at http://prestwichfestival.net/
Naomi chose the right colour dress for a photo-op with Ivan Lewis, the newly returned MP for Bury South.
All The Skills were contacted to provide walkabout and meet and greet characters for the “United Relief” event held at Old Trafford football Stadium on the 1st May.
Keeping in with the “red” theme of the event we sent Terrance our red and black Chinese Lion to entertain the crowds accompanied by a Chinese Schoolgirl on stilts. Several traditional Lion dances were performed much to the delight of the crowds waiting to enter the stadium for the concert and charity football match.
Sean continued to dazzle and amaze bystanders with his contact ball skills and keeping in with the Chinese theme he performed numerous diabolo tricks. The next step is to make him look more Chinese!!!
As we mentioned in our previous post this term Sean has been running a lunch time circus skills club for two groups at King Davids High School.
All the young people are members of the schools drama and performance groups and this really comes across in their enthusiasm and determination to master new skills and their eagerness to show off what they have learned. When Naomi visited the group it was clear they were loving the sessions with Sean and that Sean’s skills have made such an impression that he has become a mini-celebrity in the school. Below is a short scene from Naomi’s visit scripted for you….
(Sean and Naomi are signing in at reception. Enter female circus club member with friend)
Female circus club member- Sean’s here!
Friend- Who’s Sean?
Female circus club member- Sean does the circus club. He does amazing stuff.
Naomi (to Sean) oooo I think you have a fan.
Female circus club member- Sean is soooooooo cool!
(Naomi nearly dies trying to supress her giggles…..)
We have been very quiet on our blog since before Christmas and some of you might have been wondering where we’ve been. While snow meant a bit of a delayed start to the new year we certainly have not been stuck in the office!
Currently All The Skills run weekly sessions in 4 schools. One of these is Salford City Academy where Sean runs a circus session as part of their Enrichment programme. So far he has been working with Year 7 pupils, some of whom have amazed us with what they can learn in 6 weeks. One boy (called Sean would you believe!) learnt to juggle in less than an hour! Hula hoops, flower sticks and the unicycle have been particularly popular.
This term has also seen Sean start running circus sessions for two groups at King Davids High School. This school has a fantastic reputation for performing arts and this is reflected in the groups who have been attending the lunch time circus clubs. See following “Sean is so cool” post for more info.
Naomi continues to teach drama at Oldfield Brow and after half term both the older and the younger group will be tackling The Bard himself!
Paul meanwhile continues to teach Streetdance at St. Clares -this term it is Year 4s turn to lock and pop and jam.
Naomi has also been learning Chinese Lion dance and we have recruited a Lion Dance and Kung Fu teacher to deliver workshops for All The Skills. See separate post.
Hopefully by this time next week we will also have the new signage on the blue circus van of dreams!
For the past two Saturdays Naomi and Sean have travelled over the moors to Ferrybridge to help The Youth Work Company
View from the A1
engage with young people living in the Ferrybridge area. The youth workers Marie and Jo were hoping some eyecatching circus skills would attract the attention of passers by and give them an opportunity to make contact with local young people.
On week 1 we were based in the local park, in the shadow of the infamous power station and despite the cold met a few local teenagers. Flower sticks proved a popular choice with all but Nath was very persistent with learning diabolo-good job!
Week 2 was even colder so we headed indoors to the village hall. After chatting with Marie and Jo last week we had convinced them of their need for a Facebook account to keep in touch with young people and promote their events. We did have several attempts but were hindered by their reluctance to create a personal account—however I think a Facebook page will be coming soon once everyone has figured out the technology!
On Saturday Naomi and Sean ventured 5 minutes up the road to Heaton Park, Manchester to deliver circus workshops as part of the North West celebrations of 100 years of Guiding.
8,500 rainbows, brownies, guides and their leaders braved the wind and rain to take part in numerous activities including drumming, climbing, cheerleading, dance, circus skills and donkey riding. The day culminated in a ceremony where a banner celebrating 100 years of guiding was parachuted in. Impressive!
Unfortunately for Naomi and Sean’s eardrums they were based in the same marquee as the samba drumming workshops. www.batalaliverpool.com These were very popular with 40 plus girls attending each session.
Unfortunately the weather meant that our props were covered in mud very quickly but this did not seem to put off the girls at all! There must be some novelty factor in spinning a plate and covering your friends/leaders in flying mud!!!
The popularity of the circus sessions meant that we were busy all day and Naomi never did get to claim her free donkey ride from Heaton Park doney rides 😦