by Issie Lloyd, Dance Development Worker
Valley and Vale Community Arts hosted a cultural celebration on Monday 8th October at The Gate Theatre, Cardiff. The night presented a variety of cultural roots and traditions through music and dance with the hope of raising funds to set up future dance and artistic projects for local refugees and asylum seekers.
The night gave us so much magic: the acts that performed screamed raw talent; the precious voices of humble songwriters singing the most beautiful songs from their homeland filled the air; the electric Brazilian vibe of the live music and movement of Capoeira pulsed in the room; the powerful yet intricate movements thrown down by the Cardiff b-boys and b-girls excited us; the united voices of Canton and Betws Community Choirs singing Welsh and African songs together created pure harmony; the overwhelming feeling of everyone participating in the African Dance workshop, jumping around, clapping our hands and continuously stomping on each others’ feet with excitement was amazing!
It really was ‘A Cultural Connection’. The eagerness to share cultural roots and passions was clear in the room’s high energy. Everyone who came was incredibly supportive and donated money to the cause. Valley and Vale Community Arts were lucky to raise enough money to put on a six week dance project for local refugees and asylum seekers in the new year as a result.
This new project will focus on bringing their homeland roots to life, increasing confidence, communication and interaction skills and most importantly… to escape the everyday prejudices that refugees experience and have fun dancing!