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Appeal for people to share their war memories

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 25, 2014

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A DERBYSHIRE choreographer is appealing for local people to contact her with memories and stories of life during the First World War that have been passed down through the generations.

Alice Vale, Artist in Residence at Derby’s Déda dance house in Chapel Street, will use the information to inspire a dance film that she is creating – depicting the thoughts and feelings of those who lived through the war.

The ten-minute film entitled ‘Derbyshire Lives Through The First World War’ will be produced on behalf of and funded by Derbyshire County Council.

The sound score will be a poem written by members of Writers in the Peak and created from the memories collected.

Meanwhile Alice will choreograph a short dance, performed by herself and two members of her dance troupe Adaire to Dance. This will be performed around war memorials across the county and filmed by her brothers’ award winning digital production company Illuminos.

The film will then to be shown at venues and events throughout Derbyshire which are planned to mark various stages of the 100 year commemoration of the First World War in the next four years.

Alice, who lives in Matlock, explained: “Derbyshire is enriched with memories and tales that are passed down from generation to generation including those who experienced the First World War.

“As a choreographer I take great interest in human characteristics and stories so, as part of this project, I wanted to research further to find out what memories people in Derbyshire have from such an iconic time in history.

“Research has already started with Bakewell Old House Museum and local newspapers but I also want people to contact me with diary entries, letters or passed down memories of their relatives who lived in Derbyshire through the First World War.

“As well as the poem, we will be using the memories to generate movement for the dance piece that depicts the thoughts being expressed.”

Alice has been Artist in Residence at Déda, which has hosted and supported her professional development for the past two years.

As well as working with young dancers on the Déda Youth Academy, her most recent productions have included a touring production of ‘Coffee Shop Culture’ and ‘Luminaire’ - a large scale outdoor work at Chatsworth House last October depicting the mythical story of Artemis, the Ancient Greek Goddess of the Moon.

Alice continued: “I am Derbyshire born and bred and fascinated by history so ‘Derbyshire Lives Through the First World War’ is a very exciting project and I am relishing the opportunity to work with even more people in the local community to bring this to life.”

Anyone with information to contribute to ‘Derbyshire Lives Through the First World War’ should contact Alice by email: alice@adairetodance.co.uk

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