While we have all been experiencing restrictions in a our movements, Nottstopping Festival could not have offered more at-home entertainment with its diverse platform of music, theatre, dance and poetry to share the talents (and homes) of many of our local creatives. The weekend's music scene included performances by Ling Peng who plays one of the world's oldest instruments, the erhu from China, and was joined by artist friends from across the world for a co-created programme which successfully fused and highlighted four distinct musical voices. The music continued with Xenia Pestova Bennett's keyboard repertoire; Simon Paterson's mix of electronic, jazz and classical music amongst others.
Poetry, stories and creative commentary in direct response to Covid were generously contributed from Stephen Lowe and Tanya Myers, Peter Ramskill, Adrian Mealing, and Maurice Roëves. Nottingham's dynamic dance scene also provided rich input from JME Dance Company, Gareth Woodward, Xzibit Young Creatives and previous Breakin' Convention celebrations. It was also great to reflect national companies who are regulars in Lakeside's festival and performance programme, Motionhouse and James Cousins Dance Company.
And let's not forget the workshops and crafts for all ages! Kate Webborn's Frida Kahlo inspired headdress added to the festival vibe; we could create our own musical instrument with Sian Watson; and could get our hands on crafts to create art to put on our windows with Elaine Winter to really help bring the festival home.
Nottstopping provided a great platform for some talented Nottingham alumni and staff. Josh Mead and Owen Jones each performed solo and collaborated as a brilliant jazz duo in their premiere online appearance; Rob Challinor, Choir Repetiteur, played piano classics, Head of Computer Science, Steve Benford performed with and gave a fascinating insight into the magic of the Carolan Guitar; and Choir Director Calum Fraser provided a fantastically user-friendly introduction to conducting.
Director of Lakeside, Shona Powell, commented:
Catherine, Rachel and I were hugely enthused and encouraged by the way that the creative community in Nottingham and beyond responded to our call to be part of Nottstopping festival, and on behalf of all of them I'd like to say hats off to the Nottstopping team who delivered the framework and held it all together brilliantly over the course of the weekend. Many thanks to all our artists who created material especially for Nottstopping, or offered us existing material to share with the Nottingham audience; it's perhaps stating the obvious but we really couldn't have done what we did without you, your amazing talent and your clear passion for what you do.
I know we've all developed and learned something as a result of taking part - many involved were delivering activities through an online medium for the very first time, and I know from feedback that it has given you the courage to do more. The experience has also provided a new means to reach some of our audiences who, like everyone at Lakeside, are dearly missing the face to face engagement with culture.
So, thank you again, and we hope you enjoy looking back over some of Lakeside's Nottstopping highlights."
WHAT YOU SAID:
Enjoying and supporting #nottstopping festival this morning. Some great stuff from @NottmPlayhouse and @LakesideArts to watch and take part in."
A timely reminder of the incredible young dancer and choreographer talents in Notts. Watch this and enjoy Xzibit Young Creatives - simply brilliant."
Very beautiful music from Saturday afternoon @nottstopping @LakesideArts"
Just browsing through @nottstopping festival. Have that mild panic akin to when you first open an Edinburgh Fringe brochure. There's so much to choose from. Have settled in to watch some of the @LakesideArts dance content."
Watched @M6Theatre A Tiger's Tale thanks to @LakesideArts and @nottstopping festival! Beautiful, imaginative and creative storytelling, absolutely lovely!"
Loved it! What an epic ending. Can't wait until we can all dance in big groups again."