PPP blog – following big production in Grimsby by Katie Byford
I was daunted by the prospect of returning to the project. I had been up to some pretty amazing things in our 10 month break. However, these activities were not dance related, which elevated my anxieties around returning to the project. Due to being out of training, I had lost a lot of strength and flexibility and consequently was unsure of what my body was now capable of. Consequently, I did have a few wobbles but my PPP family were truly accepting of this, helping me to work through these feelings instead of allowing them to become a hinderance.
We sprung back together as a group overcoming personal and collective obstacles which only strengthened our bond. It is such a pleasure reconnecting with these souls every year celebrating everyone’s growth and passions. Being part of this project has helped me to rediscover my “why” in dancing. For me, having began dancing in an educational setting, so much about the art has been tied to grades and aesthetics. The way the PPP artistic team values and encourages our individual creativity based on our unique experiences has not only broadened but added more depth to my own practices.
Bringing such a large scale performance to the Grimsby town was a very special moment. We never know what to expect from our audiences and the compassion and gratitude we received performing was truly heartwarming. I feel privileged to be a part of a project that is so passionate about increasing accessibility of performance art.
Moving forward with my career prospects, I feel blessed to have a strong network of talented people all over Europe. PPP has opened possibilities for me that I never thought could be possible, merging my love for performance and travel. I have learnt and developed an abundance of skills from stage construction and logistical planning to devising and delivering creative tasks.
As I reflect on my time so far on the project, I feel so grateful to be apart of something so incredible. While we only have one year left to share our performance with the remaining European cities, I know that the memories and experiences created with PPP will last a lifetime.