Jumping Puddles Open Clasp

Nothing hurts more than the loss of a parent, especially one who has taken care of you and has always been next to you. In Jumping Puddles, Catrina McHugh tells the funny and moving story of two young sisters whose mother is seriously ill and is in hospital.

Sadly the sisters need to continue with their life and grow up faster than their years. Anna (Lauren Kellegher) is the younger sister and an outsider. She is bullied by schoolmates for her homosexuality. The bullies call her a freak, making Anna close herself off from the outside world.

Fortunately she get to know one of the classmates Chloe (Paislie Reid). Chloe is from Liverpool and Anna shares memories of her trip to there. They become friends and even start liking each other.

The story considers issues such a homophobic bullying, sexual violence in night clubs and the impact of bereavement on young people.

The girls are trying to stay above as they jump from one puddle of emotion to another but the puddle might become a river and Anna fears Grace will be taken by the tide. In a moment like this running seems the only way but it is not a possibility.

Fighting all the time the sisters cannot be around each other, they cannot talk to each other and cannot even stand in the same room but the death of their mother teaches them they have to stick to each other and become one because this is the only family they both have.

The writer combines her past from Liverpool with her present in Newcastle. She brings everything positive from both cities – the culture, language, accent, generosity and the desire to make a change and to right a wrong when seen but she also brings her sad memories of the family’s loss.

An Open Clasp production in collaboration with Frantic Assembly and 162 young women who want speak up and change the world. This project is inspired by their resilience, intelligence and demand of equality. Open Clasp want to make sure their voice will be heard.

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Gillie Kleiman at the end of her tour with plans for a new show

Gillie Kleiman & Eleanor Sikorski 2
The Israeli girl with Geordie origins Gillie comes back to the North East when she is a teenager. With passion for dancing she practices ballet and choreography and from there emerge artworks in theatre, live art and experimental performance.
Her curriculum never ends as she is also running a magazine BELLYFLOP and works as a writer curator, facilitator and has a BA degree in Dance and Culture with Professional Training and MA degree in Performance and Creative Research in the Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance. Gillie moonlights as an Artistic Assessor for Art Council England.
She has always wanted to be an artist but she is sceptical about it because there were people trying to put her down: “If you make this kind of training and not that kind of training you won’t be able to make it.”
Fortunately, somehow it just happens – she said – did not expect it but quickly after graduating in 2010 she got the opportunity to work and carried on.
That same year she meets Sarah and got along. While laughing and sharing the same passion for dancing and song’s lyrics they came up with the idea for A Lyrical Dance Concert. At the beginning they were just joking about it the lyrical dancing, lyrical in quality in a kind of private dancing, competition, where dances follow lyrics.
Start messing with the idea in Gillie’s flat they record a trailer which introduce the whole thing of a cabaret show, a gig and a concert in one. It takes a lot of time to create something from scratch, to make the show and most of the time the idea is not enough because it needs supporting.
In the early 2012 they start working properly and in March 2013 the show is finished. They do performances across the UK and throughout Europe and started touring in November. Gillie has also begun to develop a curatorial practice, presenting the work of international artists in London and the northeast of England and organising events that frame artistic practice in relation to cultural policy and politics.
A Lyrical Dance Concert was created in co-production with Dance4, with additional support from Dance City, Northern Stage and organisations in Stockholm and Sweden. It was premiered at Nottdance 2013 in Nottingham, before touring north east England and the East Midlands. The show received its London premiere at Dance Umbrella 2013.
“By getting support from different organisations artist get their work done. The Art Council are pretty amazing which allows artist to do things and allow audience to get work. I am not the kind of artist to make a profit. The work is in experimental nature but unfortunately, without ticket will be too expensive,” Gillie said.
Gillie energises only by talking about her passion and the performances they do. Her voice sounds like performing a real dance. For her a lyrical dance is accessible and fun, it makes people laugh and that is what she and her friend Sarah aim. In her show she says pop-music belongs to us and exists to make money which is not very interesting but it is important: “Those things are sold to us, so other people can make money but what happens if we decide we can do whatever we want with it – twist it around, make other things out of them, make them social in different way.”
Creating a show is not easy and there are always problems on the way. Pop-music represents sexuality, intimacy and many singers share their personal, private life and make it public, so Gillie and Sarah were thinking how they could play with that. They have included the song by Tina Turner, Private Dancer, who is singing about a private dance for money. How can you perform a dance like this which is not exactly like this and make the economy of perception visible, how can you strip but not really? Gillie and Sarah have found a way and with the help of underneath fabrics and different outfits they successfully make the whole audience laugh and enjoy the show.
A Lyrical Dance Concert is not only for the audience. The audience is A Lyrical Dance Concert because they are included in every part of it and the lyrics are like instructions to follow.
Coming back to Newcastle makes Gillie very happy as her mom is originally from here. Even though she is coming often, it is still special because of the show. Just couple a weeks after the tour in spring she will perform Dance Class in London and in January next year will have another show to perform. Something that took her a long time to learn is that it takes time to settle things up, so you need to look ahead but never let anyone tells you, you will not be able to do what you are aiming to.