Jo believed in a fairer, kinder and more tolerant world.
Jo would want to be remembered for her energy and her enthusiasm and also for what she went into politics for in the first place, which was bringing communities together.
Jo loved a party... she was committed, both in her politics and in her life, to reaching out to others and healing divisions.
What the project is
This dance is conceived from recent visits to London and drawing inspiration from observing the 'Changing of the Guard' at Buckingham Palace, the boats at the 'Hermitage Community Moorings' and the symbolism of Doves as seen from the 'Memorial Gardens of the Hermitage Moorings Community' in Wapping. My choreography is an expression of Jo's life and what she stood for.
As part of the theme of 'The Great Get Together', the dance shares a similar vision by bringing communities together, to commemorate the life of Labour MP Jo Cox through a simple dance narrative, which people from all walks of life can take part in. Optional donations from this performance will go the Jo Cox Foundation charity and the dance will be performed at regular intervals over the weekend.
What this dance is trying to achieve
Often in dance, choreographers want professional dancers to deliver high levels of performances, which is understadable, however, this rules out many other enthusiastic individuals. As an artist, I wanted to come up with an 'easy - to - learn' dance routine consisting of many different styles that could be embraced by any individual, from a child, teenager, to an adult and of mixed abilities.
The dance in a way, acts as a metaphor for communities to better embrace each other without exclusions, prejudices or discriminations. We live in a society today that can have such divisions. Jo Cox was a person who believed in a kinder, fairer and more tolerant world. Her maiden speech in Parliament from 2015 expresses "We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us." This motto is something I have been extrememly inspired by, so much so that I had repeatedly used this slogan in a recent t-shirt design. These words form the core foundation for which the dance thrives from. As the public also face the re-elections in Britain and the anniversary of the Brexit decision, I fear that a repeated cycle of divisiveness, mistrust, anger, confusion and frustration will surface yet again. The platform of The Great Get Together is one way of taking a stand against such typical divisions and provide opportunities for reaching out and to bring unity, which is something that Jo would have wanted.
The project's uniqueness
In this dance, we have individuals not just from all parts of the country, but also from all parts of the world. The dance examines teamwork and the victories that come from perseverance through hardship and struggles. It is reflective and conveys mixed emotions such as tragedy, sadness, love and joy, sharing a universal human condition of pain and survival.
It will be performed on the weekend of 'The Great Together,' in central London - please keep updated with news on the website and online links. We are asking for your support to assist with financing the project, so any small or large amount you can give will be greatly appreciated.
I am a Birmingham based artist mum. I originate from the Philippines, was born in London, grew up there, studied Architecture and MA Fine Art in Manchester and currently live in Birmingham. My practice is influenced by my travels, the everyday, using what's around me for resource/material and I often like to push boundaries to make discoveries. My work tends to be conceptual and multidisciplinary. I love working with diverse communities and especially with children! Recent work this last year, have been tribute artworks to Jo and collaboration with the Jo Cox Foundation.
Reason for making this project happen
The main reason I wanted to make this project happen was to bring awarenes of a tragic and untimely death of a much loved and respected person Jo-, who was a catalyst for change but sadly, was killed last year in the lead up to the EU Referendum.
'One Boat : Many Parts' - the title of the dance, in one sense, puts to light how we as communities can build better societies if we all do our part to 'steer a boat together.' Interestingly, the transformations of bodily shape merging into landscapes, structures and creatures through the dance, can reflect our ever evolving environments and how we are constantly adapting to change. The dance is heightened by selected music that is powerful, poignant, uplifting, moving, poetic and emotionally charged.
The dance is fundraising for the Jo Cox Foundation Charity
1. The Royal Voluntary Service - community spaces where Jo's constituents in Batley and Spen strengthen and support communities to combat loneliness
2. HOPE not hate - uniting communities around the UK, breaking down barriers and fighting hatred
3. The White Helmets - supporting over 150 families who have lost White Helmets - people who have served in carrying out life saving humanitarian work in the Syrian War
Upon reaching the crowdfunding target, the money will assist with accommodation for the dance group in London. If more money is raised beyond the target, this will help cover transportation costs, dance outfits, music, sound and technical costs.
A range of my designed t shirts, tank tops and hoodies (World View 2016 : In Memory of Jo Cox and Love Repeated 2017 : Anniversary of Jo Cox) are available in black and white and mens/womens and children's sizes as rewards if you are able to donate to the following pledges, alternatively any small donation is greatly appreciated too (cost includes transfer of payment charges, and postage and packaging from our printer supplier in Berlin. Also adult and child prices are the same)
£20 for a top
£30 for a hoodie
£35 for two tops
£45 for a top and a hoodie
£55 for two hoodies
£85 for two tops and two hoodies
£130 for set of six (2 t shirts, 2 tank tops, 2 hoodies)
Keep updated on my online links and for any questions... www.raquelmacartney.com Facebook @raquelmacartney Instagram @raquelmacartney Twitter @RaquelMacartney email firstname.lastname@example.org
Raquel and Dance4Jo
(World View 2016 : In Memory of Jo Cox, black t shirt for adult or child)
(World View 2016 : In Memory of Jo Cox, black tank top for adult or child)
(World View 2016 : In Memory of Jo Cox, black hoodie for adult or child)
(Love Repeated 2017 : Anniversary of Jo Cox, black t shirt for adult or child)
(Love Repeated 2017 : Anniversary of Jo Cox, black tank top for adult or child)
(Love Repeated 2017 : Anniversary of Jo Cox, black hoodie for adult or child)
(World View 2016 : In Memory of Jo Cox, white t shirt for adult or child)
(World View 2016 : In Memory of Jo Cox, white tank top for adult or child)
(World View 2016 : In Memory of Jo Cox, white hoodie for adult or child)
(Love Repeated 2017 : Anniversary of Jo Cox, white t shirt for adult or child)
(Love Repeated 2017 : Anniversary of Jo Cox, white tank top for adult or child)
(Love Repeated 2017 : Anniversary of Jo Cox, white hoodie for adult or child)