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Dance Passion: Laying The Ground trailer
Try it 7 months left
Delve into the extraordinary life of one of Britain’s most influential dance figures in this interactive documentary that expands or contracts depending on the options you choose.
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The Inside Story

Explore the life of Namron OBE in his own words.

Laying The Ground is an interactive documentary that explores the illustrious career of Namron OBE, the trailblazing black performer who became the first black professional to be employed by a British dance company. While revered by a small segment of the dance community, multiple generations of young black dancers do not know his story or his place in the canon of British dance. 

Namron is front and centre in this project and acts as both subject and guide for the experience. Breaking the fourth wall Namron narrates his experience while audiences traverse a sequence of longer or shorter segments called 'stories' and 'highlights'. This interactive documentary explores his early life, dancing career, and his role as a mentor and a teacher. In addition to exploring Namron as both a performer and as a man, the project also touches on societal issues including race, ethnicity and citizenship with dance. 

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As much as Laying the Ground is a celebration of Namron and his achievements, it is also a reaction to the unfortunate but reoccurring pattern of omission, partial visibility and representation of Black British performers; who are often overlooked and excluded from the cultural canon of the UK. This omission is exemplified by the challenges the production team faced when trying to secure archival footage or artefacts from Namron's time performing. Many of his performances were never recorded and those that were remain locked within larger institutions where access is limited. It is because of this that performers like Namron OBE never become household names. They are forgotten from the common consciousness - only to be rediscovered long after they are gone.

Laying The Ground has been designed from the outset to be a flexible media experience, and this interactive documentary makes use of some of the principle advantages that this approach has over conventional linear production, namely that it has been designed to accommodate a variety of viewing styles.

When watching Laying the Ground audiences are presented with two narrative paths. 'Stories' are longer more in-depth sequences for individuals unfamiliar with Narmon's story or that have more time and 'Highlights' that are shorter snappier sequences for individuals already familiar with his story or that have less time to spare. Not only do both experiences live within the same project but, through user choices, the viewers can move between the two paths. This flexible production approach enables the creation of a personalised version of Laying The Ground for each viewer, one that reflects personal tastes, degree of knowledge, available time or level of interest.

Laying the Ground  is a Dance Passion project commissioned by BBC Arts and One Dance UK. Supported by Arts Council England.

Dance Passion: Laying The Ground