Presented as part of EveryBody Dancing at Festival 23
Solara is no ordinary star.
She not only brings life, strength and protection to the communities who look up to her, but also provides energy for them to harness. Day after day, Solara arrives and the work begins. It has been like this for as long as anyone can remember, with Solara and the communities she powers relying on each other all living in harmony; all dancing to the same tune. When one day an unusual event occurs, it disrupts the universe they all know.
We invite you to join us in Solara’s universe to feel the transformative power of connection, community and dancing together.
Performed by Critical Mass Dance Collective (CMDC), the inclusive dance company featuring an integrated cast with people identifying as D/deaf, Disabled and non-disabled. Members of the CMDC were previously seen dancing their way through key moments of the Birmingham 2022 Festival and the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
Solara is directed by ZoieLogic Dance Theatre and co-created with Critical Mass Dance Collective, presented as part of Birmingham Festival 23. Commissioned by FABRIC, supported by Dance Leaders Group (DLG), and funded by United by 2022
Artistic Director: Zoie Golding, MBE
Director of Engagement: Becky Bailey
Senior Producer: Martina Bussi
Assistant Director: Ollie Webb
Participation Producer: Sophie Humphries
Assistant producer: Olivia Berrell
Rehearsal Lead: Jess Barber
Rehearsal assistant: Helen McLaughlin
Inclusion Champion: Rachel Liggitt
FABRIC team: Romy Ashmore-Hills, Natalie Thompson, Zara Portlock
Production Manager: Tom Langford
Stage Management: Ellie Cleaver-Cole , Beth Kiddie , Jamie Wright , Lucie Hazzard, Catherine Barnett
Composer: Duncan Grimley
Dramaturgy and voiceover: Liam Gifford
Costume Designer: Hannah Marshall
Costume Seamstress: Abeda Begum
Videographer: Anthony Shintai
Clare Wood (Dancefest)
Natalie Haslam (That!Dance Burton & Lichfield)
Julie Wright (Connection Dance: BCDH)
Ruth Pugh (Connection Dance: BCDH)
Andrei Roman (Bham Breakin)
Dan Walsh (Cov Collective)
Sara Macqueen-Radford (Bham Central)
Megan Harris (Bham Central & Darwin Dancers
Anna Belyavin (Darwin Dancers)
Siobhan Hayes (online group)
About Critical Mass
Critical Mass was Birmingham 2022 Festival’s flagship participation programme. It saw 242 young people from across the West Midlands engage to form a dance collective that performed at some of 2022’s biggest events, including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.
The Critical Mass collective was an integrated cast with people identifying as D/deaf, Disabled and non-disabled working side by side to show how genuine inclusion can be achieved in mega-events.
As part of Birmingham Festival 23 and in celebration of the 1 year anniversary of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Critical Mass Dance Collective was invited to create a brand new piece of work to be premiered at FABRIC’s EveryBody Dancing Day on Sun, 30 July 2023.
Zoie Golding MBE, who was first appointed Artist Lead for Critical Mass in 2022, returned to work with the collective to make Solara, in another epic act of co-creation on a mass scale.
My drive has always been to challenge perceptions of dance, but I think when we challenge perceptions we achieve beyond what we think is possible, and that’s important for individuals and for the society we live in. I think co-creation en masse is challenging and uniquely wonderful. As such, it’s a hugely valuable human experience, not just for the people involved, but for the people who watch the show, and anyone connected with the process in some way”
— Zoie Golding MBE, Artistic Director of ZoieLogic Dance Theatre.