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Dance Powerhouse ZooNation Announces New Residency at Islington School

Award-winning dance company ZooNation has announced a new residency at Robert Blair Primary School in Islington.

A woman in a black t-shirt leading a group of school children in some dance moves
ZooNation’s Associate Artistic Director Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe instructing some Robert Blair year 6 students. Photo: ZooNation

Award-winning dance company ZooNation, renowned for major theatre productions such as Sylvia at the Old Vic and Some Like It Hip Hop at Peacock Theatre, has announced a new residency at Robert Blair Primary School in Islington, to coincide with their ongoing creative residency at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. This unique partnership aims to enrich students’ experiences in the performing arts while providing ZooNation with an inspiring office and rehearsal space in the school’s grand Victorian building.

ZooNation’s founder and artistic director Kate Prince expressed her enthusiasm:

“It feels incredibly fitting for ZooNation, a company created to provide young people with genuinely accessible theatre experiences, to find a residency that aligns so closely with our mission and values. Being around young people is truly inspiring, from hearing them play outside our window to gaining insights into the educational community. This move is an exciting new chapter for ZooNation, especially as we begin to collaborate with the brilliant team here at Robert Blair. It’s a win-win.”

4 school girls standing in a circle putting their hands in the middle
Robert Blair year 6 students. Photo: ZooNation

The creative collaboration is already underway. ZooNation’s Associate Artistic Director Dannielle Rhimes Lecointe is currently working with Year 6 students on a new promenade performance. This piece involving 25 Robert Blair pupils, explores their experiences and memories of the school as they prepare to graduate this summer. The performance will be showcased to friends and family at the end of the summer term.

Robert Blair Primary School’s headteacher Michelle Bahn, shared her commitment to the partnership and the schools vision and aspirations for our work together.

“We continue to explore further ways of enriching our arts centre curriculum and share skills across the arts and education sector. It is stimulating to see our work together enhancing the quality of provision, building on economic capacity and exposing children and young adults to opportunities within the world of work. Having experienced artists growing young talent and working creatively, developing and showcase work with and centred around pupil voice is inspiring. We are particularly thrilled to have ZooNation based here with their extensive knowledge in the creative industries.”

In addition to the summer term project, ZooNation plan to offer a variety of training opportunities and professional development events, as well as develop new touring theatre in education ideas with the school.

a woman and a man smiling at the camera
ZooNation’s Associate Artistic Director Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe with assistant Elijah Smith. Photo: ZooNation

ZooNation is a charity and they run regular Saturday classes for children aged 4 and up at the Urdang Academy in Islington, and subsidised training programme ZooNation Youth Company, continuing their commitment to making the performing arts accessible to young people.

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