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Weymouth's Maritime Mix in Dorset

PUBLISHED: 12:40 22 February 2012 | UPDATED: 21:04 20 February 2013

Weymouth's Maritime Mix  in Dorset

Weymouth's Maritime Mix in Dorset

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad by the Sea allows ordinary people to become a part of the Olympic Games. We meet some creative locals from Weymouth and Portland who are looking forward to playing their part.


Maritime Mix




The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad by the Sea allows ordinary people to become a part of the Olympic Games. We meet some creative locals from Weymouth and Portland who are looking forward to playing their part.




Maritime Mix is a once in a lifetime creative celebration which includes world-class outdoor theatre, open-air mass choir performances, visual arts, multi-media arts festivals, earth science and art, panoramic video projections, dance and street celebrations. This Cultural Olympic by the Sea will animate Weymouth, Portland and the Jurassic Coast with an ambitious six month programme of over 80 events running from March to September. It will help put local artists on an international stage and generate new partnerships and collaborations, leaving a valuable legacy for Dorsets cultural sector. Increased visitor numbers will give the local economy a considerable boost and demonstrates the positive economic impact the arts can make both locally and at a national level.




Lorna Rees Creative Producer, Activate
Event: Battle for the Winds 26 28 July 2012






Will the heroic Wind Gatherers succeed in their battle to unshackle the creative breezes from Doldrum and release the wind in time for the Olympic sailors to harness them? The epic tale of the Battle for the Winds starts in May in Lyme Regis and then sweeps through the South-West culminating in a climactic performance over three magnificent days in Weymouth and Portland.


What part do you play?


Im involved in the installation project which happens on 27 July and forms part of Doldrums back story for Battle for the Winds. Doldrum has his lair at the High Angle Battery. We are working with around 35 young dancers from Portland who will be part of a rolling performance, choreographed by Carly Reader. We will have audio devices planted over the site which will reverberate with stories about the Battery, and how Doldrum has stolen the wind. Were also going to be celebrating a butterfly unique to Portland the Cretaceous silver studded blue. The local community will create 2,692 individual silver studded blue butterflies, each represents a young person (18 or under) living on Portland. The Battery, and quarries around the Island are havens for this rare blue butterfly which rise up in a spectacular cloud as you walk through the Battery in June and July. We hope to replicate these blue clouds with our handmade butterflies.


Why did Activate get involved?


Activate is a dance and theatre development agency for Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. We wanted Portland to have some arts activity which really celebrates how special the community and landscape is on the Island. Were also involved in other Cultural Olympiad projects, including the Inside Out Dorset festival, A Dance A Day and Moving Tides.


What are you most looking forward to?


Making butterflies, were hoping to work with every primary school on the Island. On a personal level, Im singing in the enormous Costal Voices choir, so Im really excited about performing too!


My Weymouth and Portland:


26 July: Gathering and Ceremony of the Winds Weymouth and Portland
27 July: The Search for Doldrums Lair - in and around Portland
28 July: Final Battle of the Winds on Weymouth Beach


For more information http://battleforthewinds.com or activateperformingarts.org.uk


Sarah Drew - Head of School, Creative Industries, Weymouth College
Event: The Compass Festival 13-18 August


The Compass Festival is all about promoting local, small and medium-sized touring theatre companies on an international platform between the Olympics and Paralympics. The Festival programme brings diverse and innovative work to a local community, and introduces the Bay Theatre as an alternative venue for new performers. The aim is to inspire young people to engage with performing arts and engage local audiences to celebrate culture and sport during the Olympic year.


What part do you play?


We are taking the opportunity to work collaboratively with a number of local groups forming closer links for the future. These include Activate, The Bay Theatre at Weymouth College and Dorchester Arts Centre, who are all working in partnership to present this festival. There will be five companies performing over five nights in August (13-18), these include: Attention Seekers - playwright, Peter Oswald; poet, Alice Oswald; actor, Josephine Larsen, actor; and musician/ actor Martin Holland, combine their talents in Short Shrifts a mix-and-match collection of short, punchy cabaret-style theatrical sketches; and LEAP Theatre, Weymouth Colleges resident theatre company who will be challenging the audiences moral judgement with thought-provoking theatre thats accessible for all.


How do you think this event will benefit the area?


We believe that the arts can make a real difference to peoples lives and taking part can give people confidence and a greater sense of being part of a community. As a development agency, and with the support of Activate, we want to turn this into a lasting legacy with a yearly event to include dance, music, theatre and literature. Were working with Weymouth College and the Bay Theatre to make this to happen.


My Weymouth and Portland:


Simon Ryder - Artist
Event: The Resonant Isle


There is nowhere quite like Portland, where humans and geology come together in such a fascinating mix. Artist, Simon Ryder has been exploring the island, from the Jurassic to the present; in its quarries, from the sea, through magnetism, light and sound, and working with scientists involved in the Dorset Ex Lab project using 3D digital scans of the island and seabed.


What part do you play?


I am taking the results of my investigations to create a hybrid of laboratory and exhibition entitled The Resonant Isle. This will be presented on the windswept Portland Bill, in video, sound (in collaboration with composer Oogoo Maia), through objects and texts.


Why did you get involved?


The location and to take up the rare opportunity of working with scientists.


How do you think this event will benefit the area?


I think it will offer a thoroughly researched and individual view of Portland, hopefully one that will resonate long after the boats and the crowds have left.


My Weymouth and Portland:


James Pryce - Artist and Film-maker
Event: b-side Festival 27 July - 12 August and 29 August 9 September


b-side describe themselves as exploring the flipside of the seaside. During the b-side Festival expect underwater performances, alternative misguided tours, telepathic drawing experiments, an international film programme and interactive signage at venues ranging from pubs and churches to swimming pools and car parks. b-side encounters is an important part of the Festival, which hopes to inspire young people from the community to develop creative talent outside a formal education environments.


What part do you play?


Im going to be working on a project with young people who attend the Tides Project Centre in Weymouth. They will be creating a 360 degree film, using music and lyrics that represent them, their lives and experiences around the subject of homelessness. This will be screened at the ICCI Dome in Weymouth during the Cultural Olympiad.


Why did you get involved?


The Olympics is a great opportunity for young people to create work that will help visitors gain an understanding about our culture, art and entertainment.


My Weymouth and Portland:


More information b-side.org.uk


Debs Peach Singer in Coastal Voices
Event: Coastal Voices performing Opening Day of the Sailing Olympics


Coastal Voices is a landmark project linking arts and earth sciences through the concept of the voice with hundreds of singers across Dorset and Devon led by Howard Moody. It aspires to encourage coastal communities to connect with their place. Hundreds of people are working with professional artists culminating in performances in London and across the Jurassic Coast. Many pieces have been specially written for this event and encompass local history, local literature, local geography and local people.


What part do you play?


On the Opening day of the Sailing Olympics in Weymouth we will be present, with other choirs from around the area, looking out to sea and giving our voices to the wind and the world. I never expected to be on a stage singing to the world! The Weymouth project uses some great toe-tapping rhythms, with four and five part harmonies.


Why did you get involved?


Because we love to sing and when would you ever get the chance to sing to the world? My own choir formed almost two years ago because we wanted to sing but lacked the confidence in our ability. We got Lottery funding to form the Cant Sing? Neither Can We! project, and found ourselves a musical director who could teach us to sing as part of a group. Coastal Voices is just taking this community singing to a higher and grander level. It really shows how the Olympics can bring the whole world together. We might even start to think of ourselves as vocal athletes!


What are you most looking forward to?


The Coastal Voices project shows it doesnt matter who you are or what age you are, we have this great opportunity to take part in something really special.


How will this event benefit the area?


Coastal Voices is showcasing our love of music and I really do believe the music and rhythm will give a clear sense of our love for this area. Music after all is an international language and reaches out to all ages and races.


My Weymouth and Portland:


More information coastalvoices.co.uk


Running from 9 March 9 September this ambitious creative celebration involves over 80 events which are set to animate Weymouth, Portland and the Jurassic Coast. The extensive programme has been made possible by investment and support from Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and local authorities including; Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and local tourism partnerships. For more details about all the events visit maritimemix2012.co.uk

I love the beaches, they are gorgeous throughout the year; I also love the eclectic mix of landscapes and water, wildlife, the sense of space, the smell of ozone and the inherent quaintness of this beautiful area.The old harbour and the Nothe Gardens with its panoramic views of Portland and beyond.Follow the path to The Resonant Isle at Simons blog simonhryder.wordpress.comThe Bill is really quite special, I feel very privileged to be allowed to spend time here finding out about the placeMore information weymouth.ac.ukEarly morning as the sun comes up on Weymouth Bay - calm waters and newly-raked beach, and in contrast Portland Bill when its rough and windy.The panoramic view from the Portland Heights Hotel I recommend having a hot chocolate there while looking out over Chesil Beach. I also love Moonfleet Manor, just outside Weymouth, which also looks over Chesil.






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