OffSite announces first successful funded Outdoor Arts projects

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Published 31st January 2017. OffSite is the new artist development programme run by Déda, supported by SO Festival and has been established to develop further opportunities for outdoor artists based in the region.

Over its course, the programme looks to create opportunities that take regional talent to the national and international marketplace whilst representing Déda as a Midlands hub for Outdoor Arts Development.

The funding aims to support small to midscale works that are in the early stages of development and work that reflects the diverse landscape and communities of the Midlands. Funding ranges from £500 - £2000 per project.

Déda and affiliate partners SO Festival, Appetite Stoke and Derby Festé are thrilled to be able to announce the four successful commissions for 2017:

Highly Sprung 'Roots'

A medium scale outdoor performance for families, centered around a 6 metre high tree structure; exploring issues surrounding migration and the concept of home.

Roots is bold and beautiful and becomes home to two lost people, refugees, they live in the branches of a towering tree and care for the tree's every need. But something is wrong...Tree is beginning to wilt, to wither and nothing can be done to help. The faceless one is coming...An imposing 10ft tall cloaked figure looming over audiences.

Roots is a highly energetic and interactive experience that asks audiences to actively participate in the pursuit to protect the tree; caring for its leaves, repairing its roots and understanding its importance. With support from Birmingham Hippodrome.

Highly Sprung Performance Co. produces innovative and original projects that engage children and young people as performers, participants and audience in and outside of formal education.

Maison Foo 'Parkour Parents'

Maison Foo are in the early stages of developing a hilarious new outdoor walkabout piece - 'Parkour Parents'. Two Mums, desperate to stay in touch and connected with their teenage kids, have set up their own Parkour/ free running group 'Parkour Parents'. The only thing is they are not very good, in fact they're cringe worthily bad and much to their Kids' embarrassment have taken to following their Parkour group around in the hope they will be accepted into the fold.

This exciting new collaboration brings together mischief makers Maison Foo with professional Parkour artists for one big mash up of visual spectacle and comic eccentricity. 

Maison Foo first came to national attention with their highly acclaimed sell out show Memoirs Of A Biscuit Tin at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Maison Foo are an Associate Artist of Derby Theatre.

Rogue Play 'Taking Flight'

Taking Flight is a 25-minute family friendly piece of outdoor aerial theatre particularly aimed at visually impaired audiences. Including aerial silks and rope, and an airborne kayak; it is a journey of two friends who follow a bird across land and sea. With an aural soundscape of spoken word and music, as engaging and thrilling as the visual spectacle, Taking Flight captures the excitement of circus for visually impaired audiences.

There will also be a touch-tour, and fully accessible post-show workshops with trained facilitators. Researched and developed thanks to funding by People's Postcode Trust
Co-commissioned by Birmingham Hippodrome.

Producing work nationally and internationally, Rogue Play's work captures new stories through stunning aerial circus, acrobatics, poetry and dance.

METRO-BOULOT-DODO 'Empire Soldiers'

Empire Soldiers is an ambitious new project using the latest technology. METRO-BOULOT-DODO will immerse their audience in a 360 video environment using a VR headset. The show will focus upon the experience of WW1 Caribbean Soldiers asked to fight on the front line.  

Members of the public will take a seat in a deconstructed train compartment, as they put on the VR head set; they are suddenly surrounded by the undernourished figures of the returning Empire Soldiers.  As they pull into their final station, the talk turns from the battle they've just left, to the one they're entering. Will they be welcomed as heroes or told to go home? Empire Soldiers has been commissioned by Serendipity. 

METRO-BOULOT-DODO was established in 1997 by a group of Theatre graduates from Lancaster University. After winning a number of international festival awards (including a Total Theatre Best Newcomer award in Edinburgh) they set out to change the world.

Déda's Creative Producer Phil Hargreaves says "It's great that Déda has been able to team up with some fantastic regional partners to provide funding and support to some outstanding artists in the region. The pieces are going to be spectacular and we are extremely excited to be able to showcase the talent in the Midlands."

The Offsite Programme will run for three years and Year 1 will focus on training and development; working with key regional, national and international partners & funding bodies to deliver sessions. OffSite partners will also create and nurture a network of creatives that can support each other's practice, share knowledge & continue to grow the regional outdoor arts scene. Year 1 will focus on regional development with an ambition to widen the remit to include national and international work in Years 2 and 3.

For more information, visit Déda Derby