A large-scale mass movement dance spectacle featuring a cast of up to 200 volunteer performers,including 46 World War Two veterans and 30 Polish school children, who will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI and the centenary of Polish Independence at Paragon Interchange, Hull, on Saturday 10 November.
Schoolchildren from Hull’s Polish communities will be performing alongside professionals from the Tenfoot Dance Company, as well as 100 swing dancers from across Yorkshire featuring lindy hop outfit Kingston Swing, former Royal Ballet Company pianist Billy Bowes and Andrew Sisters tribute band, the Andrini Sisters, in The Way We Were production.
For the third year running, The Way We Were will also feature veterans from ballroom and sequence dance groups across Hull, including 93-year-old dancer and former Land Girl, Iris Marie Newbold. They will be joined by first-time actors from an international non-English speaking drama collective, Heal, which is based in the city and will be making their debut performance.
Hull Paragon station will be transformed into a wartime set with exhibits of photographs and memorabilia from two World Wars.Plus two special exhibitions will mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who coordinated the rescue efforts of hundreds of Jewish children to escape the Warsaw ghetto, while another documents the state of Poland regaining its independence.
The Way We Were tells the heart-breaking story of a small loving family separated by the outbreak of war. When father Joseph is enlisted to serve, his wife Alicia and young daughter Erin enter a turbulent future as they try to rebuild a new life together in the hope that Joe will soon return home. The narrative is told through a range of dance styles including ballroom, jive, lindy hop and contemporary.
Freddie Garland, co-artistic director of Ten Foot Dance Company, said: “I am delighted to bring this production back to Hull on a much bigger scale. Last year we had 150 volunteer performers and a live audience of more than 3,000 people, which was wonderful. We had an amazing response with families, some of whom included several generations,returning to the performance.
“This time we’ll be transforming Paragon station into a temporary memorial to all those who have lost their lives fighting to create a better future for us.”
The Way We Were is one of a series of events kick-starting Hull’s first Polish Film Festival, which takes place on Saturday 17 November at Artlink Hull.