The Big Dance Pledge goes off with a bang…

On Friday 16 May, the transient and bustling space on the first floor of Westfield shopping centre became a pop up dance venue for dancers from across west London to dazzle onlookers with a performance of the Big Dance Pledge 2014.

The performance at 7pm was just part of an exciting day of activities presented by English National Ballet in celebration of the Big Dance Pledge 2014. Earlier that day, 220 dancers from Greenside Primary School performed the choreography amidst a crowd of supportive family, friends and teachers. However, the evening performance saw a varied group of dancers energetically tapping and patting their bodies percussively, swaying their torso’s with vigour, and clearly enjoying the performance, which they have been working on with Dance Artists from English National Ballet over the last few weeks.

The Big Dance Pledge is an international dance initiative which encourages dancers of all ages and abilities to perform with the rest of the world.

Go to set Big Dance Pledge 2014 - Westfield Shepherds Bush

  • West London flagship Big Dance Pledge Performance at Westfield London. Photo: © Belinda Lawley

  • West London flagship Big Dance Pledge Performance at Westfield London. Photo: © Belinda Lawley

  • Greenside Primary School, Big Dance Pledge at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • Greenside Primary School, Big Dance Pledge at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • Greenside Primary School, Big Dance Pledge at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • West London flagship Big Dance Pledge Performance at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • West London flagship Big Dance Pledge Performance at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • West London flagship Big Dance Pledge Performance at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • West London flagship Big Dance Pledge Performance at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • West London flagship Big Dance Pledge Performance at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • West London flagship Big Dance Pledge Performance at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • West London flagship Big Dance Pledge Performance at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • Greenside Primary School, Big Dance Pledge at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • Greenside Primary School, Big Dance Pledge at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • Greenside Primary School, Big Dance Pledge at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

  • Big Dance Pledge Workshop at Westfield London. © Belinda Lawley

 

As the west London hub for Big Dance, English National Ballet were flying the flag for the Big Dance Pledge with their event held at Westfield London in shepherds Bush.

Dressed in the white T-shirts emblazoned with the red Big Dance logo the dancers performed the Big Dance Pledge choreography, this year created by Scottish Ballet, a homage to Glasgow hosting the XX Commonwealth Games. A dance of 5 recognisable parts, the third section entitles ‘bompbay’ was a clear crowd pleaser. With arms folded into their bodies and elbows pointing out to the side the dancers twist and turn their torso’s sharply to the side in a salsa step. The catchy Bompbay, Bompbay, Bompbay rhythm blasted out of the speakers as they pivoted and pushed their arms in front them, limbs flying forward with dynamism and vigour. It’s an energetic and lively piece and the onlookers loaded up with shopping bags couldn’t help but tap their feet.

Afterwards one cast member eagerly posed by the circular logo of Big dance 2014 on the side of the glass partition of the shopping centre as she took a selfie. Her post performance euphoria was certainly a memory she wanted to keep, and the Big Dance Pledge has given this young dancer along with 67,000 participants nationally and internationally the opportunity to be part something that celebrates the diversity and accessibility of dance.

By Claire Woodward