My name is Iain Mackay and I'm a professional ballet dancer. I'm currently a Principal Dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, an incredible company I'm proud to have been involved with for over 18 years. I've decided to create a small pop-up dance group I'm calling Open Door Dance Events -ODDevents. The goal is for ODDevents to take the highest quality live dance performance into places you maybe wouldn't expect to see it. Starting on my own door step with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on the 7th June 2017.
I believe in the importance of community spirit and our social responsibility to make the communities we live in be the best they can be for everyone. I also firmly believe access to the arts is more important than ever and should be experienced by all, available no matter what. This is my community, my family's community and access to the arts is what I have to offer. I want to use my unique skill set to bring people together to inspire as many people as possible in as many places as possible starting close to home.
I live less than a mile from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, my youngest son was born there and all of our family at some point have experienced the amazing services it provides. I pass it everyday on my way to work and sometimes stop to grab a coffee in the hospitals atrium at what must be one of the busiest Costa Coffee's I've every seen! It was here 4 months ago that the idea to start ODDevents came to me.
I was in a long queue when I over-heard a young woman in front of me, a cancer patient holding a book and her headphones. She was telling her mother she was going to spend an hour or so that morning in the atrium reading and listening to her music. I looked around at the sheer numbers of people passing through the atrium, there were many other patients sitting enjoying the bright open space. I instantly thought I'd love to perform here, bring dance to people who at this moment in their life don't have the luxury to go to the theatre or maybe have never thought to. I immediately contacted the hospital to see what was possible.
So on June 7th 2017 I will take ODDevents with its 6 fantastic dancers, to perform on a stage that will be layed outside of the main entrance to the hospital. The show will be around 25 mins in length and will be repeated three times throughout the afternoon. It will be made up of a variety of short dances ranging in styles from a classical duet to more modern works some of which have been specially created for the event. I want the patients, staff, carers, volunteers, family and friends to have the opportunity to be taken away from the repetition and the pressures of hospital life and have a chance to enjoy the entertainment and distraction that live dance can offer, even if for only a brief moment.
I would like to film the performances to help engage with as many of the patients as possible. The film will be taken round the wards in person on large tablets to give access to patients unable to leave the wards but who would like to see the show. I'm looking to live stream the event round the hospitals monitors to waiting rooms and communal areas reaching as many of the large hospital's community as possible. I would also like the film once edited to be shown in other hospitals where space to take live dance is an issue.
I would greatly appreciate your support to help fund the launch of this project. All money raised will go towards covering the costs of the event and bringing ODDevents to life, allowing us to take the best posssible performance we can for the people of the hospital to really enjoy.