ME Dance Company

Projects

Professional Projects

Bella (2023)

Welcome to Bella, the untold story of a woman who lost everything in one breath.

Based on the historical Black Country mystery of ‘Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?’ We try to uncover who she was, her life and links to her country.  Did black magic, relationships to the aristocracy, or even being a spy, play a hand in her demise?  Cocooned for 18 months in an isolated setting, entwined by the roots of an Elm tree, her name and life is still a mystery shrouded in time.

Follow us on our journey through the eyes of Bella’s restless ghost, as she tries to recall her last days through dance theatre, visual projection and music.

To this day, she has never been formally identified, and perhaps she never will be – so find your truth.

Premiere – 28 June 2023 at Walsall Arena shows at 13hr30 and 19hr30

The next performance of Bella will be March 7th 2024 at Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton and you can buy tickets from buy tickets here

A Kiss Goodbye (2022 - 2023)

A celebration of the nurses from World War I, who worked tirelessly to look after the soldiers who served their country.

We delve into the thoughts and feelings of a nurse who has been left behind to cope with the strains and stresses of working on the front line, whilst worrying about her loved one. With the support of her fellow nurses, she strives to live her life and put her own feelings aside so she can tend to her patients, who are suffering from shell-shock, injury, and suicidal thoughts.

As the war gains momentum, this couple are forced apart and their lives change drastically, with people dying around them they are left wondering if whether they will ever be reunited. Through this narrative piece of contemporary dance theatre, we remember nurses such as Edith Cavell, Mary
Seacole, Florence Nightingale, and Clara Barton; strong women who sacrificed a lot for change and impacted modern medicine.

Chain Stories (2020 - 2022) - Birmingham Festivals 2022

A series of site specific, interactive pop-up performances with visual arts and dance. Performed across the canals and nature reserves of the Black Country in 2020 - 2022.

The Black Country is known for its ironwork and chain making from approximately the mid-1400s to 1970s. Chain Stories told the stories of the lives of the people who interacted with the iron and chain making. ME Dance take the audience through a journey of the chains and who they came into contact with as they travel from the earth, to the forge, along the canals, across the sea to Africa, then the Caribbean and back across to the UK and the Black Country – we show the region as the beating heart, pumping iron around the commonwealth and back to the region, and all the positive and negative aspects that went with it.

In 2022 we developed Chain Stories and collaborated with Conceptions Dance Theatre Grenada and NOYAM/Ghanaian National Dance Ensemble.
As a part of this project we will be delivering pop up performances and workshops along the Canal from Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham to Netherton during June 2021.

Bumblehole and Warrens Hall Nature Reserve in Netherton

Here is a link to the Article from the British Council about the project

 

Tales From the Forge (2021)

Commissioned by canal and river trust and Sandwell Council in 2021 to bring dance to the community embracing the history of the black country and it's workers.

ME Dance Company brings a series of performances to your doorsteps, drawing on the stories of the women who lived and worked in the Birmingham and the Black Country.

dance spaghetti junction black country stourbridge

Black Country Stories #ajourneylikenoother (2021)

A series of 4 performances and workshops commissioned by Canal and River Trust along the canals from Birmingham to Netherton looking at the lives of the people who lived and worked in the region.

This project is an extension of our vision for the large scale site specific performance involving organisations from around the Midlands.

During July and August 2021 ME Dance Company delivered a series of performances to the community at designated points along the Dudley No 1 canal.  This project was supported by Arts Council England and commissioned by Canal and River Trust.

Performances took place at  Spaghetti Junction, Icknield Port Loop, Smethwick Locks and The Bumble Hole.

At each site there there was an exciting performance delivered by the professional company alongside different youth dance companies, schools and colleges.  Canal and River Trust commissioned the project to help people reconnect to their outdoor spaces, particularly in densely built-up areas where they have found that the canals are not always used in a positive way.  The performances promoted arts for health and wellbeing.

black country wolverhampton ghana grenada

Oceans of Independence (2021)

“A voice that resonated throughout the years…for the foundation is what drives me to be who I am”

Oceans of Independence looks at our history, our ancestors, and our connection to the journey we
intend to take. Sharing stories and traditions from across the sea, in honour of those who travelled
before us and influencing those who come after us.
This project is a collaboration between ME Dance Company, NOYAM African Dance Institute and
Conception Dance Theatre that will be live streamed internationally. It is about foundation, fight
and experience; for we are all inspired by someone or something, who is your inspiration?

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Distortion (2020)

Misplaced, dazed, and confused; Distortion tells the story of an escaped patient from a 1950’s asylum.

Connecting with Disconnect we follow this woman’s state of mind in unknown surroundings. Set within the forest of the Black Country we witness moments of anxiety and fear.

Consumed by the constant transitions in her day to day life she tries to discover her true identity and how she became adrift. Past events and misinformed information has driven her to hide and create multiple personalities so much so that she has forgotten who she used to be. Through hope, faith and determination she tries to recall the darkest moments of her past however, she wonders if they are her memories or those of the other characters she possesses.

As her thoughts become ever more tangled she searches to find a path in her mind that will lead her to safety.

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Disconnect (2020)

Disconnect looks at the reality of being alone and in isolation.

Taking moments from the 1950’s to modern day society we see the struggles that individuals may have and how it may affect their mental health and their outlook on life.

Mania (2019)

Mania is a piece of narrative contemporary dance theatre which explores taboo issues, such as domestic violence, mental illness and drug use.

It questions the preconceptions about relationships, as it plays with the boundaries between real and imaginary worlds.

Mania follows a couple who are struggling to deal with their day to day lives, they become isolated from their friends and family as their mental health worsens. As the wife loses her connection with reality, their relationship spirals out of control.

This is an engaging piece, in which you will real from moment to moment with the couple – enjoying moments of peace and clarity before their grip on reality slips and the ground falls from beneath them.

Praise for Mania:
“It’s a very energetic piece – full of angst”
“Empowered – it was truly awesome, felt the passion at every part!”

 

DanceFest Platform - Man in a Suit

Man in a Suit (2017)

This solo explores the struggle of a man in the rat race, who feels like he has no way out.

Tired of the same routine and feeling it’s time for a change; he is scared to find a new path in his life but thinks of what a different life would be like daily. With no friends apart from work colleagues, he struggles to understand his place in society and to live a fulfilling life – questioning whether he wants to continue to live.

Youth Projects

Grasping the Dream (2023)

Exploring the highs and lows of what it takes to be a dancer in the industry, and revealing the harsh past many professionals have faced.

Touching on Artistic Director Marcia Edwards’s experiences training to be a professional. How do dancers cope in this tough environment? With a teacher that is so hard on her students do they burnout, or push through to be the professional dancers they have to be?

Undivided (2022)

Undivided tells the story of women in the armed forces being silenced.

Sick of rules from the past they come together to show that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself. They strive for equal rights and show strength through unity and solidarity.

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Imprint (2021)

Imprint is choreographed by Marcia Edwards, and was selected as 1 of 5 youth dance films to represent the West Midlands in MY Dance 2021.

Imprint is about the history behind peoples eyes. We all have a story to tell, but we don’t always show it. We mask our fears, tears and struggles – yet we all share the same links somewhere along the way. It is about the next generation expressing their thoughts and feelings externally and internally, through intense eye contact and vigorous movements. Are people watching what you do, how does this make you react and how do others perceive you?

Women of The Water (2021)

Women of the Water tells the stories of the Idle Women, who worked on the canals during WWII.

They carried vital supplies through the country’s waterways. It is set in the heart of the West Midlands where they would bring steel up from London and then return with Warwickshire Coal. They often worked 18 – 20 hour days and were paid £3 per week. Drawing on real life stories, the piece is a celebration of these women, their hard work and sacrifices.

Voltage at Dancefest

Voltage (2020)

Voltage looks at a girl in an unknown world trying to find her true identity

The action and reaction of people in society. How do we act and react to each other, and what effect does this have on those around us? feelings of tension, feelings of change that make us uncomfortable. Voltage is a dynamic high energy piece, which will leave you energised.

Overload ME Dance Youth Company Promotional Image

Overload (2020)

Confined to lockdown and overloaded with school work

Overload finds individual females suffocating with their workload. Send home due to COVID-19, they try to manage their education. Confined to their homes, confined to their families, with no outside help or release through seeing friends. This film takes you on a journey to see the reality of their individual situation.

Tales From the Forge (2021)

Commissioned by canal and river trust and Sandwell Council in 2021 to bring dance to the community embracing the history of the black country and it's workers.

ME Dance Company brings a series of performances to your doorsteps, drawing on the stories of the women who lived and worked in the Birmingham and the Black Country.

project image

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Beauty. Fire. Power (2020)

Freedom to be who you are, take strength and courage.

This piece is a celebration of being a female in society today. Although we find challenges along the way, we can look inside ourselves to find inner strength.

Underground project rehearsals

Underground (2019)

This was inspired by the Thai children who were trapped in a cave on a school trip.

It delves into what it must feel like to be in the dark, and trapped knowing there is no escape.

Meet the Dancers

Marcia Edwards
Artistic Director/Choreographer
Marcia is founder and Artistic Director of ME Dance Professional and Youth and Graduate companies. A graduate of Northern School of Contemporary Dance, who has performed, taught and choreographed both nationally and internationally.
Fleur HallFleur Hall
Fleur Hall
Administrator/Company Dancer
Fleur is the Administrator of ME Dance Company, and she has been a company dancer for 2 years. Alongside training and performing with the company, she assists Marcia with the day to day running of the company.
Abi Raybould
Company Dancer
Abi studied dance at Kidderminster College training in Graham, Cunningham, improvisation and other styles. She graduated with a professional diploma in musical theatre at Midland Academy of Dance and Drama. She has been a company dancer since 2018.
Claudia Thompson
Company Dancer
Claudia trained in musical theatre and dance at Phil Winston's Theatre Works and spent 6 years as a dancer and Dance Captain on Cruise Ships. She has been a company dancer since 2020, previously performing in Mania, Chain Stories and A Kiss Goodbye.
Gemma Pilgrim
Company Dancer
Gemma is a movement artist, dance teacher and choreographer from the Midlands. She graduated from NSCD and trains in Contemporary, traditional African, Afro-Fusion, Hip Hop and Commercial.
Ellie Baker
Company Dancer
Ellie graduated from De Montfort University with a BA Hons Dance degree in 2021, and she trains in breaking/contemporary fusion styles. Ellie began training and performing with ME Youth Graduate Company in late 2021.
Emily Cox
Company Dancer
Emily graduated from De Montfort University in 2022 with a BA Hons in Dance. She initially started training with ME Youth and Graduate Performance Company, and has since become an apprentice for ME Dance - performing in their most recent work 'Bella'.

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