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Dancehall in Doncaster

Posted on July 31, 2015

new style dancing arrives  the introduction of the jive into british dance halls 1945 d23830

new style dancing arrives- the introduction of the jive into british dance halls 1945 d23830New stage show Dancehall will tell the story of the people of Doncaster who have lived, loved and danced in the town. The show, co-directed by Esther Richardson and Lucy Hind, charts the story of Doncaster from the dancefloor and will be performed at performance venue Cast from September 11 to 19.

Bringing to life dancefloor crazes and fashion trends from across the decades, Dancehall promises to share hidden stories of local people.

From dancing through wars hoping soldiers would come home to keeping going through the strikes, Dancehall will follow the moves made through 16 prime ministers and massive social change, from cutting shapes when your horse won at the St Leger to dads awkwardly dancing at that street party for the Queen’s coronation; from children in Saturday-morning classes stepping on stage for the first time to revellers on Saturday-night floors having one last drink.

With a soundtrack spanning the last 80 years and featuring a professional cast alongside a large community ensemble, Dancehall dances through the decades to revive memories and relive Doncaster’s history.

The show builds on the success of Cast’s first home-grown productions, The Glee Club in 2013 and Barry Hines’ Kes in 2014, incorporating stories from the heart of the community.

Cast’s director Kully Thiarai says: “Our research has brought us in touch with local historians and individuals who have been preserving stories that have become the foundation of the show.”

Tickets for Dancehall, running from September 11 to 19, are priced at £17/£14 concessions and available from Cast’s box office on 01302 303 959 or


Picture: A new style of danicng arrives: the introduction of the jive to British dancehalls, 1945 

Photograph courtesy of Cast

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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