Families can enjoy a new festival with games, story-telling and a dance finale in a historic house on Sunday, October 14. Eltham CultureFest is a new cultural festival for Greenwich, celebrating the area’s diverse communities with dance performances in the Great Hall at Eltham Palace plus special guests The Chineke! Junior Orchestra.
There are games in its gardens, a story-telling tent and colour-filled dancing. Greenwich Dance is presenting a new cultural celebration as part of Royal Greenwich Festivals, supported by the the town hall and English Heritage.
On Sunday, October 14, from 10.30am to 4pm, the festival will bring together leading professional dance artists with local community performers for a lively day of dance, theatre, art and music for all the family.
Celebrating local communities that meet around the borough will be the Cultural Exchange, an informal platform of performances in the Great Hall of Eltham Palace, hosted by Jennifer Sims of the Bob Hope Theatre. Groups and individuals taking part include Equality Dance, The Chinese Performing Arts Centre, actors from the Bob Hope Theatre and Greenwich Dance’s over-55s performance company, Dancing to the Music of Time.
Elsewhere in the palace will be performances by special guests The Chineke! Junior Orchestra with more than 40 BME musicians aged 11 to 22 playing an orchestral homage to the 18th century Greenwich-based British composer of African descent, Ignatius Sancho.
Artist Sally McKay, a long-standing associate of Greenwich Dance, will be gathering audiences together to document the day with drawings and sketches; actor TJ Jones has been working with Eltham Library to fill her storytelling tent with imagination and interactive play based on cultural tales; and throughout the palace gardens will be games from around the world.
The day will draw to a close with a colour-filled finale from Greenwich-based South Asian-inspired dance theatre company, Nutkhut.
Greenwich Dance’s new chief executive Melanie Precious said: “We are thrilled to be working with the council and Eltham Palace on this newly-imagined cultural celebration.
“As an organisation we are lucky to work in a borough as culturally diverse as Greenwich and we want to celebrate the communities and artforms that thrive here.
“This is the very beginning of the journey for this new event and we are looking forward to hearing what audiences enjoy and how we can develop the festival, engaging more communities in Eltham in the future – putting Eltham firmly on the cultural map.”
The event is an autumnal celebration inspired by the world cultures found in the culturally diverse Royal Borough of Greenwich, engaging with local Eltham communities, both in programming the festival and coming along on the day.
Councillor Miranda Williams, cabinet member for culture, leisure and the third sector, said: “It’s fantastic that we’re going to be able to welcome such a wide variety of artists and performers to Eltham.
“The unique mix of dance, theatre, art and music at Eltham CultureFest will make a great addition to the programme of cultural events that we support across the borough throughout the year.”