Having fun getting dressed with family dance session at Danceeast in Ipswich

Getting Dressed by Second Hand Dance is presenting a trio of family shows at the Jerwood DanceHouse

Getting Dressed by Second Hand Dance is presenting a trio of family shows at the Jerwood DanceHouse on Ipswich Waterfront this weekend - Credit: Archant

There is something inherently funny about watching children and adults struggling to remove or put on their shoes and socks.

For grown-ups, the whole balance issue becomes an insurmountable problem as they try to remain upright and retain their dignity while for youngsters they are brought face to face with the thorny problem of spatial awareness.

Director and choreographer Rosie Heafford witnessed just such a scene while running a family dance workshop and she was delighted to see how both kids and parents struggled to get ready for the class and then get their street clothes back on at the end of the morning.

“The starting point was this realisation that the whole idea of getting dressed is a real skill that you have to learn. We all remember as a child putting our coats on the wrong way or being unable to find the right arm holes or finding it difficult to find the legs in your trousers.

“I remember watching my workshop class battling with getting dressed and realised that this would make a really good show full of fun and excitement.”

Her company Second Hand Dance have created a new show called Getting Dressed which explores the fun possibilities created by that simple act which heralds the start of each new day.

“We dive into a world of colour, texture and movement with a show that invites everyone to be as creative as we can with the clothes we wear, finding our own favourites and tempting us to try getting dressed just a little bit differently.

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“We climb mountains of clothes, plunge into piles of pants or swing in swathes of skirts. Whether they’re big or small, scratchy or soft, ordinary or extraordinary – one thing is for sure – clothes and getting dressed will never be the same again!”

The piece was further inspired by the work of visual artist Derick Melander whose work suggested the use of textiles and clothes forming an installation on stage, a world of fabric for the movement to inhabit. The performance is about performers and audiences sharing the experience of getting dressed. “It’s a thought provoking, joyful and highly visual dance performances for all ages. It’s about celebrating and enjoying clothes and the feeling and textures of different materials.

“It’s encouraging children to play with what they might like to wear – challenging the conventions surrounding what boys should wear and what girls wear. It’s about balancing on one leg or twisting around to grab the other side of your coat.

“Getting dressed by yourself is a huge milestone as a child as it shows independence, technical capability, maturity and the identity we choose to present to the wider world.”

Following the performance there will be an opportunity to ‘Stay & Play’ with all the clothes from the show, dressing up and trying something different. Performances will also be accompanied by clothes inspired activities for the whole family to enjoy together.

Second Hand Dance present Getting Dressed at the Jerwood DanceHouse on Ipswich Waterfront from March 18-20.

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