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Barnsley’s Own Tala Lee-Turton Leads Symposium on Collaborative and Inclusive Dance Futures

Inspired by Barnsley-born dance artist Tala Lee-Turton, the Barnsley Dance Symposium, ‘Speaking of Dance’, is a collaboration between Tala Lee-Turton Productions, Barnsley Civic and Barnsley Council, aiming to address the challenges and opportunities within the dance industry.

Taking place on Thursday, April 25, at Barnsley Civic, the event will not only highlight Tala’s exceptional journey from Barnsley to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy but will cast a spotlight on the dynamic and diverse dance talent within Barnsley, paving the way for artists to connect with wider audiences and stages.

The event is designed to showcase the rich tapestry of local dance talent, fostering a vibrant cultural exchange, and laying the groundwork for future collaborations.

The day-long event will kick off with a dynamic showcase of draft works featuring some of Yorkshire’s most innovative and compelling dance artists. The lineup includes Tala Lee-Turton Productions, Phil Sanger of We are Ramped, Carlos Pons Guerra of DeNada Dance Theatre, Keira Martin and Katya Bourvis.

Following the showcase, professional facilitator, and advocate for the arts Eva Martinez, will guide participants through a series of discussions exploring the potential for growth, development, and touring of Barnsley-centric dance productions.

The symposium will serve as a catalyst for ideas, sharing of knowledge, and forging new connections among artists, producers, venues, and other stakeholders from Barnsley, the surrounding regions, and London.

Attendees are invited to engage in these discussions, contributing their insights and visions for Barnsley’s dance future.

Tala Lee-Turton’s involvement brings a personal and inspiring angle to the symposium:  Tala explains: “As someone who has navigated the path from Barnsley to the international dance stage, I’m passionate about creating opportunities for local talent to thrive.

“Our goal is to create a dialogue that bridges the gap between local and national dance ecosystemsand showcase the diverse and dynamic work of Barnsley’s artists.

“It’s about opening doors, sharing insights, and working together to elevate the profile of dance in Barnsley and exploring opportunities that can lead to tangible growth in the dance industry.”

This project is commissioned and funded by Barnsley Council’s Regeneration and Culture service, as part of their South Yorkshire Shared Prosperity Fund programme Culture at the Heart of Communities.

Production still by Martin Perry featuring choreography by Katya Bourvis and dance artists (L-R) Lowri Shone, Winnie Dias Pinto, Tala Lee-Turton, Patricia Langa, Sera Maehara.




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