Recently, Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland was selected as one of the major partners for work experience placements of MSc students in Dance Science and Education from the University of Edinburgh. Over the academic year 2022/23 we were tasked with mentoring three student teachers – all dance professionals with a scientific foundation for the teaching of dance as an art form.
Meet our first student teacher-in-residence – Wangxiu Cheng, an award-winning graduate of the prestigious Bejing Dance Academy with a particular interest in curating and producing. Wangxiu started her Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland placement on 24 October 2022 under the mentorship of our curator Iliyana Nedkova.
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival provided the best initiation into the world of Scotland’s traditional arts for Wangxiu, who together with our curator, attended a ceilidh, or to be precise a Map of Stories Film Ceilidh. This special ceilidh was hosted by Aberdeenshire-based storytellers Grace Banks and Jackie Ross, with film footage featuring Tony Robertson. The story about the dancing trees on a midsummer’s night was a magical tale to remember and revisit as a short film here – now part of the treasure throve that Map of Stories is.
In this Scotland’s Year of Stories and the festival’s apt action call to #KeepitLit, Wangxiu had to opportunity to also join the limelight of the film cast and crew of our screen dance which tells the Earth story of mother goddess Breida and her daughter Bride as inspired by Donald Smith‘s poem which we commissioend earlier and you can access here. Wangxiu was able to contrbute to the first two days of film shooting on location at the beautiful circle spaces of St Cecilia’s Concert Hall and the secret poetry garden in our backgreen at the Scottish Storytelling Centre .
As part of her student residency, Wangxiu also had a chance to explore the unique artist-in-residency programme at Edinburgh’s Abbeyhill Primary School, as well as the Edinburgh Open House Ceilidhs run every Friday at British Legion Hall by our Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland member Alex Ross of Canongate Cadjers.
Stay tuned for more news and stories about Wangxiu’s student residency which continues until 2 December 2022. It will lay the ground for the second placement which will run 30 January –10 March 2023 and the third from 24 April until 2 June 2023. In the meantime, please find further details about the Dance Science and Education (MSc/PgDip) Programme here.
Images featuring Wangxiu Cheng by Iliyana Nedkova. Images of film cast and crew at St Cecilia’s Concert Hall by Wangxiu Cheng