The new Out of Whack company has 20 members and is led by Molly Wright. Molly is a highly experienced Dance Leader in the field of elders’ dance and also works with elders’ dance companies Leap of Faith, Damn Fine Dance, and Creative Dance London.
“I am delighted to be appointed to be the dance artist for Out of Whack. Having worked and lived in London for the past 15 years I made the decision to move back to my hometown in the west midlands after becoming a mother to twin boys. For the last 8 years of my career in London I specialised in dance for over 60s and it’s been my passion to this day. When working with this age group I aim to draw from the vast experience and generosity of the dancers, I hope to challenge the notions of how older people are presented and portray them as equally vibrant, courageous and exuberant as any other dance company regardless of age or ability. I strive to empower my dancers by giving them the tools to not only perform set choreography but to have the confidence to be creatively engaged through their own process.”
- Molly Wright, Dance Leader, Out of Whack
Out of Whack – how did it start and where is it going?
Out of Whack has been created by Coventry resident Sally Rew who is an over-60-year-old with a passion for dance.
“I have been inspired by dance all my life, with a great love for the extraordinary dance-theatre of Pina Bausch, through to the deconstructed ballet of Michael Clark, through to the rock and folkdance inspired Hofesh Shechter. I’ve never been a professional dancer but have taken lots of classes, from ballet as a kid through to contemporary in my twenties, and done quite a bit of jive and ceroc for the fun of social dancing. Probably more than 10 years ago I became aware of the concept of an elders’ dance company through a TV documentary about a group at Sadler’s Wells who danced together and made performances with different choreographers who were making their shows at Sadler’s Wells. I thought back then, I want to do that! And many years later when Coventry was awarded the City of Culture I thought, now is the time to make it happen! When I started looking for partners, Warwick Arts Centre soon came on board with the crucial offer of a home for our company, and I then raised some start up funds through the Heart of England Foundation’s Road to 2021 funding scheme. The project was all ready to go in spring 2020 when Covid hit us, but thankfully a year later - and coinciding with Warwick Arts Centre’s re-opening - we are ready to go. This really is a dream made real!”
- Sally Rew, Founder, Out of Whack
This autumn our Out of Whack dance company are coming together in a weekly class to explore different contemporary dance styles. We are working with our Dance Leader, and in due course with guest choreographers, to create short performance pieces which reflect something of who we are and what is important to us.
Being based at Warwick Arts Centre provides a fantastic home for Out of Whack as it has a great dance programme to inspire us, and we already have our first class with a visiting company lined up with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures company in November. Warwick Arts Centre have generously given us access to space for our classes and we hope that we will be showing our first performance on one of its stages in early 2022.
Out of Whack has also made connections with Coventry 2021 producers and expects to be part of a large-scale production taking place in central Coventry at the end of the Year of Culture.
Out of Whack is establishing itself as an independent organisation working in partnership with Warwick Arts Centre. We look forward to many wonderful creative collaborations in Coventry and beyond.
- Written by Sally Rew & Molly Wright