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Package 1 MY TOWN
Explore castle history through Myths and Legends and the Bayeux tapestry using medieval dances and creative based movement. This package also studies local and personal heritage focusing on the town where your school or group is based to develop your own stories and group dances.

Package 2 MY CASTLE | Rep Workshop
Introduce your group to contemporary dance technique, learn repertoire and draw on creative processes from the current Castle production. Led by professional dancers from Ascendance Rep who will take you through the themes behind the dance.

Experience a live performance by members of the cast followed by a repertory-based workshop where students can learn, and be inspired by, the professional dancers.

Create a dance in three days with Artistic Director Rachel Wesson and members of the company towards a performance or module assessments.

New education and performance packages are now available following the launch of Ascendance Rep’s ground-breaking dance piece ‘My Castle | A Company of All Ages’ choreographed by Artistic Director Rachel Wesson, performed by 12 dancers ranging between 5 - 70 years.

My Castle is both a light-hearted and melancholic study of pleasures and pastimes in medieval England, encompassing literature, paintings, music, social dances, banquets, war and loss.

The dance begins with Shenanigans in the garden with the traditional games of Chess, Blind Man’s Bluff and piggyback wrestling. In the popular Dance of the Knights and Ladies we see the dancers march together with heroic strength with an inevitable end through the dance of death where we are asked to pause for reflection. The dance of peace embodies the daily strain of loss and loneliness experienced by women in
powerful positions such Anne Clifford who was the last Clifford to own Skipton Castle in the 17th century. A traditional social dance starts the celebration banquet dance – an escape from the reality of our daily lives.

“The diversity of the project has not only increased the fitness and self-confidence of the children but raised their awareness of the community around them. Teamwork, collaboration, listening skills and empathy together with self-control and self-discipline have driven the programme which has been delivered by highly professional, enthusiastic and approachable staff. Thank you”

Jill Wood – Little London Primary School
(My Leeds project

Download Education Packages pdf

About us... Latest News.  

Ascendance is a Leeds based contemporary dance company, offering performance led dance projects for all ages across Yorkshire and the UK. The company is known for its high quality choreography and has delivered a wide range of professional tours, educational projects and workshops, creating over 1000 dance pieces with community and education groups, in a range of inspiring spaces, over the past ten years.

The company works extensively in site-specific venues, including bookstores, cathedrals, train stations, shopping centres, city and rural art galleries, museums, libraries and is now working across UK Castles and heritage sites in partnership with English Heritage and Local Authorities.

Ascendance Rep specialises in intergenerational projects bringing younger and older participants together in a range of dance activities, performances and workshops.

Skipton Castle residency..
During the residency at Skipton Castle, young people from the surrounding areas enjoyed an intense summer school led by Helen Wilson. Participants learnt some of the repertoire that the company had created during their residency. Participants were able to enjoy performing it alongside the professional company on the day of the performance.



Dance Day for All Ages

16th April 2011
at Cottingley Cornerstone Centre

Make a date with dance in 2011

People in Bradford of all ages and abilities will have the opportunity to take part in a vibrant day of dance this Spring thanks to a Grants for the arts award from the Arts Council in Yorkshire.

Ascendance Rep in partnership with the Dance Bradford Network is holding a dance day at Cottingley Cornerstone Community Centre. This event, will be open to people of all ages and experiences.

Local schools and community centres will be limbering up for the dance day through a series of workshops in March led by Ascendance Rep and based on the theme of local heritage. Organisers are asking members of the local community to contribute their own ideas and stories about the area for the workshops to help create new dance pieces which will be performed as part of the dance day.

The dance day and workshops are both being supported with National Lottery funding through a Grants for the arts award.

Rachel Wesson, Artistic Director, Ascedance Rep, said: 'This project allows dancers of all ages to come together and celebrate the idea that anybody can dance. Professional dancers from Ascendance Rep will be delivering workshops for community and school groups to get as many people involved in the dance day as possible. The dance day is open to everyone, with or without dance experience, where people can join together and learn fun social dances and contemporary dance sequences taken from Ascendance Rep’s latest dance piece, My Castle.'

Sign up here for further details

Venue: Cottingley Cornerstone Centre, Littlelands, Cottingley, Bingley, BD16 1AL 

Thank you to everyone who took part in the day of dance.

See the Photo Gallery for pictures of the day.



New Projects and Classes      

Professional Classes

Continuing professional development opportunity!

For one week in August, we have places available daily for experienced dancers wishing to participate in a professional dance class at the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds.

The classes will be led by Ascendance Rep dancers Amy Butler, working with Paul Wilkinson and Daniela Ferreira.

Daily from 9.30am–11.00am, from 15th–19th August.

Four places available per day. Cost: £3.00 per class.

To express interest, please contact:

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