Scotland Flys The Flag for Slanjayvah Danza’s New Work!

Dance company, Slanjayvah Danza, are pleased to announce Creative Scotland has awarded grant funding to deliver a programme of research and development taking in rural and city venues across Scotland, running until March 2019.

The first phase of the grant is in flow, with the company in residence at Dance Base this week, 5th – 9th November 2018. They hosted an open class for professional dancers on Wednesday 6 November, and showcase an Open Sharing/Performance for the public on Friday 9 November from 3.45pm-4.45pm.

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Slanjayvah Danza is pushing boundaries in the Trad and folk arts by reframing them alongside and within a contemporary context. The funding will enable Scottish dance and music artists to collaborate and extend their practice of Scottish, Spanish and Celtic dances, music and storytelling.

This is a first for the company, allowing Artistic Director Jen Wren and the team to bring home a dynamic cultural, artistic and social project inspired by Scotland’s inclusive ethos and traditional arts.

Artistic Director, Jen Wren, states:

I’m thrilled to be developing this work with the support of Dance Base, The Work Room, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland, Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and Rait Community Association, among many others.

Its first time we have had such widespread support across Scotland with many of the supporters, including local community members, involved in the application and devising/planning process.

I’m very lucky to be working with a wide and diverse group of new and experienced collaborators to continue researching and developing new innovative work influenced by the traditional arts of both Scotland and Spain.

This part of our path is to focus on the Scottish heritage and cultural elements required for the artistic cauldron providing the Celtic spices required to properly brew new work with fierce percussive dance, traditional foot stomping music, tender moments and a good old giggle.’

Scotland meets Spain meets Yorkshire…


Rooted in traditional arts but set in a contemporary context, the piece was performed as a work in progress, titled ‘6 Feet, 3 Shoes’ in 2017 and is still being talked about as must see!

The full show will be prepared under this grant for a premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 and will then tour to village halls and community venues.

The show is a celebration of friendship, cultural exchange, rural community spirit and history through dance, music and storytelling. We follow the story of three friends who meet and learn to communicate without words. Overtime, they learn exception Spanglish (or is it ‘Spangottish’?) and dance their way across water, wondering all the while who is “Gay Gordon”?

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Alongside feeding and developing their artistic work, there are opportunities for communities to be involved along the way, through workshops in dance and music, ambassador opportunities, research discussions or attending the project’s public performances, as Jen concludes:

It’s important to be working at home with professional Scottish artists and local people in each area. It’s absolute to fulfilling the research. Only after that can we really create the full work and present it back into the communities who have helped us build it.

What we are making won’t be just a performance, but an experience full of feisty rhythmical dance, cultural references and humour.

Not only are we providing opportunities to see incredible international performance artists, but also the chance to get up yourself and join in as we transition the performances into a ceildih/feria style party for all.

We want to keep meeting, chatting, working and dancing with the local people in the areas where we will be.

Join Slanjayvah Danza on their epic and exciting journey.

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