Collaboration, education, and social change: Harnessing the power of dance with Lancashire’s premier dance company LPM Dance
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Co-founders of LPM Dance, a Lancaster-based and Lancashire-wide dance company, Helen and George established the joint venture in 2011 out of a desire to create new and exciting dance initiatives for diverse audiences across the North West.
Now offering people of all ages and abilities the chance to experience the power of dance, providing a range of dance classes, including specialist sessions across the county for people living with Parkinson’s and dementia. The power of dance is on full show.
“Our practice promotes an inclusive ethos which provides opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to experience the power of dance,” a LPM Dance spokesperson said. “We use movement and dance as a tool for collaboration, education, and social change.
“As an artist-led organisation, LPM strives to place art, the artist, and the audience at the heart of our work. We enjoy being responsive to new opportunities, enabling us to enrich and further the understanding of our work in a broad range of contexts.”
A performer and choreographer as well as a pilates and yoga teacher, George was born in Glasgow and trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Having worked with some of the UK’s biggest dance companies, he is also a senior member of the Royal Society of Medicine, having developed dance workshops for the national curriculum.
Herself also a performer as well as being a movement director and project manager, Helen trained at Bird College of Dance and Theatre Performance and also has a degree in Dance Science in Education from Edinburgh University, where she conducted award-winning research on Dalcroze Eurhythmics and its impact during Dance for Parkinson’s classes
Suffice to say, the pair have considerable dance pedigree, pedigree which went international recently after the Lancashire-based dance company took part in a virtual meeting of dancers to learn the Limón movement technique alongside dancers from the world-class Limón company in New York, widely regarded as one of the world’s most renowned dance troupes.
Facilitated by the Four Nations International Fund, the groundbreaking initiative saw George and Helen join renowned Scottish dancers Julie Spence and Neil Price in Glasgow before connecting virtually with Eve Mutso of Estonia and American Limón company dancers Lauren Twomley, Savannah Spratt, and Joseph Columbus.
All dancers involved came from vastly different training backgrounds, including some with disabilities, in what was the most diverse group of professionals to come together to explore the Limón technique ever.
"This was one of the first collaborative international projects of its kind since Brexit and the pandemic,” says George. “Things like this are so important to further our work, challenge ourselves and open up new opportunities."
Helen firmly agrees, saying: "We're really hoping this is the beginning of something more. It's been a really rich experience and we've all taken so much from it."