Choreography meets community

9th December 2020

The art of telling a story through performance is one that visual artist, Annabel Taylor-Munt, is incredibly familiar with. Fusing exquisite choreography with sincere emotion, Annabel is highly regarded as an emerging artist in the district. 

Inspired by fascinating collective experiences, Annabel brings the history of Quarry Hill’s community living to life through her project, funded by the Leeds City College Arts Fund. 

Performance in the spotlight

Annabel’s ‘Community Living’ project involves a student workshop and a seven minute choreography, exploring the history of Quarry Hill, shared experiences of the residents and how the idea of community has changed throughout Leeds.

“My inspiration came from Quarry Hill flats; its utopian self-contained living facility created a promise of a better future for its residents, where community-led experiences were at the centre of its design. 

“The choreography takes a linear narrative, exploring the rise and fall of the flats, performed by the Dance Level 3 students, the new inhabitants of Quarry Hill. Students involved in the project get a glimpse of how a piece of choreography is made for film rather than stage and allows them to gain experience working with professional videographers and musicians.”

Students take centre stage

Students at Leeds City College are involved with the project from concept to completion.

“The students are the real stars of the show. We have worked together during weekly classes to develop choreography, giving the students characters of the flats’ residents. Students have also included sections of improvisation into the performance, where they developed areas of their own choreography in groups. The lighting, stage and filming department students are working closely with the videographer, musicians and myself to emulate the flats’ environment, pushing the visual narrative of the dance.

“The Arts Fund has enabled me to work with 20 outstanding dance students and has inspired my process of creating choreography. The fund also gave me the opportunity to work in a theatre for the first time, which was accompanied with lighting and stage management to help push the visual aspect of the project.”

Arts Fund arrived on cue

Annabel often faced difficulties when accessing funding as an early career artist.

“There is a lack of funding for many emerging artists, especially when receiving a funding amount where you can pay yourself a fair wage. Leeds City College has been an incredible anchor of support during this project, providing amazing opportunities for me. I was able to work with outstanding dance, staging and film departments and received fantastic help from both students and tutors.”

The ‘Community Living’ project is due to be completed by the end of December.

Leeds City College