Local Choreographer creates Fijian and Maori inspired show in Plymouth

The Rising

The Rising - Credit: Archant

The UK has produced some of the brightest young choreographers in recent years and at 23, local girl Heather Walrond is no exception.

Heather Walrond

Heather Walrond - Credit: Archant

Having been inspired to dance at school in Ivybridge, she went on to join Plymouth Youth Dance Company, which paved the way for her to train in London and America with Springs Dance Company, before completing a degree at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

After graduating last year with a First Class Honours, Heather was part funded by Devon Education Trust to travel to Fiji to spend three months with ‘Vou’, the leading dance company in Fiji. During this time she performed, choreographed and taught all over Fiji and after, New Zealand and the UK.

Since returning to Devon, Heather has become associate lecturer at Plymouth University, founded her own professional dance company, and has performed and taught all over the South West with various companies. She also established Rising Youth Dance Company in Ivybridge, who performed on the Theatre Royal stage as part of ‘Dance Plymouth Dance’ in July.

In May, Heather successfully received funding from Arts Council England for a new piece of work ‘The Rising’, exploring what makes people feel alive and empowered, influenced by Fijian and Maori dance.

Over the past few months she has undertaken research in Fiji, France, New Zealand and all over the UK and now, six professionally trained dancers and two multi award winning musicians, Will McNicol and Luke Selby, will collaborate with Heather to create the show.

‘The Rising’ has been selected to be a part of Plymouth’s Ocean City Festival programme and will be performed on 18 September at the Barbican Theatre at 7.30pm. Although the piece is a work in progress, the standard of dancing and music will be something truly spectacular.

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Tickets for ‘The Rising’ are £3. To book, call Barbican Theatre’s Box Office on 01752 267131 or visit www.barbicantheatre.co.uk.

For dancers, choreographers and dance students, Heather Walrond will be holding open rehearsals as well as an open company class at Dartington, Plymouth University and Barbican Theatre in September. Visit www.barbicantheatre.co.uk for details.