Wondrous Stories, a spectacular open-air show conceived and directed by Motionhouse and performers from Critical Mass, opened the Birmingham 2022 Festival in March 2022.
From 17 – 20 March 2022, Critical Mass performed for the first time in front of a live audience with Motionhouse in the spectacular free show Wondrous Stories at Centenary Square, Birmingham. This performance kicked off the Birmingham 2022 Festival, a six-month celebration shining a global spotlight on creativity in the West Midlands that will sit alongside the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The cast featured Motionhouse’s internationally-renowned professional dance-circus company alongside a mass cast of hundreds from Critical Mass, Freewheelin (an inclusive wheelchair dance group), Motionhouse Youth, and Motionhouse community class participants, Timmins Academy and the Centre for Advanced Training programme run by FABRIC and Sampad. Birmingham’s Choir With No Name sung live, with spoken word from Raza Hussain and Sebbie Mudhai. Jamaal Burkmar and Sonia Sabri were Associate Choreographers for Wondrous Stories, each creating a specific section of choreography for the show.
The Critical Mass team was overwhelmed with how hard our wonderful Participants, Dance Leaders, Support Workers, and parents & careers worked and their determination in the build-up to Wondrous Stories – performing in 7 performances across 4 days!
We have gone from being a collection of 14 regional groups to a mass dance company in such a short amount of time. I’m blown away by the commitment of all our participants and their constant support for each other. Our performances at Wondrous Stories were extremely high quality and this is down to each individual really wanting to give the show their all and the amazing talent of our dance leaders who support each Critical Mass participant to thrive.
Zoie Golding MBE, Critical Mass Lead Artist
Across the four days, we were joined by over 20,000 audience members and received over 10k views on the Motionhouse livestream.
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Wondrous Stories was created by Motionhouse and produced by Outdoor Places Unusual Spaces (OPUS). Presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival, generously supported by Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.