In recent years, Global Grooves has been at the forefront of a cultural movement to preserve Carnival traditions from around the globe whilst disseminating our team’s extensive research and learning. A desire to promote the benefits of sustainable and connective partnership work throughout the wider UK arts scene drives Global Grooves’ dynamic work. With over a decade of short courses, performance events, master classes, research trips, mentoring programmes, and community development initiatives behind them, the charity looks forward to strengthening its diverse arts offer in music, dance, song, visual arts, and heritage from around the world.

Here is a snap shot of some of the artistic programmes centered particularly around heritage.

Our work in Carnival

Creating Carnival 2013 - Present

Creating Carnival is Global Grooves’ core strand of work, funded by a variety of sources including Arts Council England; the projected aims are to share heritage, stories, traditions and arts through Carnival development workshops, seminars and presentations. To date we have delivered our Creating Carnival sessions in various settings including The Queens Jubilee Pageant and international conference events at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, and international collaboration with The Brazilian Embassy in Wellington New Zealand, The University of West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, La Salle College of Performing Arts in Singapore, and from our own Centre in Greater Manchester.

Future Leaders 2013 -­ present

Future Leaders was developed to ensure the preservation of Carnival arts and outdoor site-­specific work across the UK. Young people from the next generation are certainly the ones who hold the keys to the passing on of any cultural art form, and through several years of research and development we discovered that there was a huge drop in young leaders developing work and careers within the UK Carnival arts sector. This has led to many Carnivals ceasing to exist. Through this research we found that although young people were still engaging in Carnival arts, culture and heritage projects, they had little or no paths to develop this work into a career or higher professional standard with huge gaps in skills and motivation. Future Leaders offers a structured programme of mentoring, residential weekend training and distance learning tasks and 40 young people from a national pool engaged with the programme.

Journey of the Orixas street performance

Percussion and Songs of the Orixas 2013

Percussion and Songs of the Orixas is an ongoing arts and heritage programme celebrating music and dance rooted in Africa. The open study group meets around four times a year in several formats including short evening courses, residential weekends and master classes. The training, seminars and technique sessions are led by internationally renowned musicians and ethnomusicologists from around the world. More recently, these specific traditions and heritage stories have been preserved in the form of a song and study book that we wish to develop into a regular publication with input from authors worldwide.

Journey of the Orixas 2012

Taking its inspiration from the deities of the African Orisá tradition, ‘Journey of the Orixas’ was a celebration of the positive aspects of cultural migration and Global Heritage. The project paid homage and respect to the ancient and beautiful traditions of our African ancestors and to the many taken from their homelands as slaves to the new world. The project allowed participants to explore their heritage through the eyes of their African ancestors and celebrate their new found understanding and shared journey through visual arts, music and dance traditions. This project presented immense opportunities for the sharing of niche music, dance and textile costume forms from Africa, Brazil and Cuba, and allowed participants and tutors alike to engage in deeper discussions of the roots of cultural art forms that have taken root in the UK context.

Junk Jam 2010

‘Junk Jam’ was a major Carnival development programme that explored how our UK culture is becoming more  and more consumer focused and led by ‘disposable’ popular culture. Junk Jam allowed its participants to consider how we effect the environment and what impact our ‘junk’ has on our past, present and future. It allowed participants to see disposable trash in a new light and demonstrated that although on the outside our trash is ugly and unusable we can learn from our history and create beautiful functional and practical items and works of art from our waste. The project involved participants from every walk of life from young people, refugee and asylum seekers, professionals, students and artists in a production of over 150 participants celebrating and demonstrating that we have the power to shape and change our history, heritage, culture and future.

Afoxé Manchester 2009

‘Afoxé Manchester’ was about sharing deep-­‐ rooted Afro-­‐Brazilian heritage with a community in a modern setting in an attempt to encourage the meeting of minds, and to inspire and invigorate musical and creative experience. Through a short course workshop programme, the Global Grooves team provided high quality yet accessible tuition in the music, visual art and dance disciplines of the Brazilian Afoxé parade. In sharing the artistic performance of this art form, the participants improved their own creative skills, and acted as story­‐tellers passing on the centuries-‐old tradition to a local community that otherwise may not have ever experienced the phenomenon. This colourful, vibrant Carnival-­‐style drumming, dancing, and singing Bloco saturated the streets of Manchester with its effervescent energy significant hope and smiles to all who followed our street bloco. As with many of our projects, a large number of participants even used this project as a springboard to future engagement and study opportunities.

Our Work Locally

Since opening our home The Vale in Tameside we have been continually facinated by the rich history and heritage that is alive and well on our doorstep. This is now a common thread reflected through our productions and workshops. Indeed our home The Vale holds a diverse, exciting and globally connected heritage via cotton trade and industry. Our research has taken the form of creative engagement projects with our local communities. You can ready more about our most recent work here.

Our heritage supporters

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Pop your email address in the box here and we’ll send you updates about our work, including how to get involved. We promise we won’t inundate your inbox, but you will be able to unsubscribe at any time.

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