Same Difference Festival August 13th West Park and Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton

Same Difference Festival was run for a second year curated by Wolverhampton CEP (Cultural Education Partnership) working with the #YES youth board. The festival is led by young people for young people aged 11-18 years and included a range of creative activities and local live bands in West Park.   A specially curated underwater sea installation Making Waves by Curiosity Productions with Cloud Cuckoo Land  in the circus tent at Newhampton Arts Centre invited neurodiverse children and young people to participate and dive into this beautiful environment.
Making waves, feeling the water sway with the winds, an event where we showcased the creatures of the sea by creating origami creatures and using recycled materials for puppetry. By creating an underwater landscape scene with various textures and using rhythmic sound to recreate the calm ocean waves, we welcomed children into an all-inclusive space to enjoy various activities to create an aquatic environment. Having a circus tent space for creative activities as well as a chill out zone to process things or calm down, children could engage in a multi-sensory arts event involving dancing, creating crafts and singing. It was a wonderful experience to ensure we could support a wide range of neurodiverse young people, in the best possible way. From umbrella jellyfish to glowing origami seahorses a magical murmur in this magical space created imaginary waves as we replicated oceanic waves.

Windrush Carnival at National Arboretum August 6th

Black Voices curated a programme of community choirs, carnival dance and glorious musical offerings, including a commissioned ‘Across the sea’ for massed choirs composed by Ken Burton. This piece was sung by all choirs assembled to honour the Windrush pioneers and the 75th Anniversary of the Windrush arrival to Tilbury Docks. See:

This was a brilliant occasion hosted on the stage by Nikki Tapper in the National Arboretum, to honour and celebrate the pioneers for their perseverance, hope and endurance, which gave birth to the lively caribbean community, gathered there that day! The celebration was moving and colourful at all levels and it was a privilege to be there.

“I mainly supported with getting the ACE Dance and Music participants ready with faces painted, I am not too sure how ACE Dance and Music ere provided with a tech schedule to follow, which stated which groups were performing when and for how long each piece was. The performance did run over the anticipated finishing time, and this was due to it taking longer than anticipated to get all performers into correct positions and ensuring that no costumes were at risk of being damaged to spacing issues. The hardest part of the performances particularly arose with the ACE Dance and Music adult dancers wearing large costumes. They were not able to perform their full dance routine as the performance space was tight and the wind created problems for certain elements of costume pieces to blow off. This meant that the performers changed the routine on the spot resulting in them having less movements.

A key highlight of the event was instantly at the start once the music came on and all ACE Dance and Music participants and staff members began with the procession all members of the audience joined in and began dancing and followed the moves of the ACE students, this showed true audience participating and engagement as all young and old were joining in and dancing along in true carnival spirit. Upon ACE fining all staged performances a high proportion of the audience followed ACE and continued to dance with the music, this led to the ACE students teaching the audience parts of the routine and having conversations with members empathizing the importance of both carnival and these events for the community spirit it brings together. The audience followed the staff at ACE on the day and joined in as much as possible.

The event was not ticketed, and no bookings were required to attend, this is beneficial for an event of this nature as being held in an open public space meant those who have just attended the arboretum for recreational purposes are able to also participate and an audience member and ails gain a wider insight into events of this nature through seeing what is on offer. The demographics of the audience age range varied widely as there were many children and their parents who attended. However there were also invited guests, who were from the original generation to have migrated on board HMT Empire Windrush. These members also had generations of family members attending with them to show their support and all joined in with a day filled will fun carnival spirit. As attending the event was free and not ticketed, members of the public just arranged themselves in a manner where they were able to see what was happening and have view of the stage.”

Veniece Patel Birmingham Festival 23: 5th August

ACE Dance & Music: Soca Ram-Jam

Birmingham Festival 2023, Soca Ram-Jam, was an event filled with vibrant colour and was eye-catching to say the least. Live steelpan drummers engaged the audience with carnival dancing and costumes, encouraging all participants to feel part of this community. Now that is what I call the true carnival experience, everyone coming together as one!

The rain didn’t stop us from having the true carnival vibes in the Birmingham Rep as we celebrated and partied away on Jamaica Day. ACE dance and music really showed what carnival culture from the Caribbean could bring to us in Birmingham. We celebrated this wonderful occasion with musicians, dancers and drummers from 5 years to adults, who are part of their dance class programme, together with partners from London and Amsterdam. What an amazing event filled with family fun and a cultured learning experience.

July 23rd Community Spirit 2023 in Symphony Hall Birmingham

What can I say, it was an event full of bright smiles through singing, reminding us of all the importance of being kind to our earth. B Music in partnership with Carol Pemberton from Black voices worked extremely hard to curate an afternoon of choirs performing beautiful songs devoted to our earth. The title alone community spirit united communities through their love of music to engage with audiences and share issues around climate change and culture.

The unique final piece was a joint mass choir song composed by Birmingham’s poet Laureate, Jasmine Gardosi. This final piece emphasised various performance styles of singing, poetry/spoken word/, music and beatboxing to produce an exciting integrated piece. We look forward to Birmingham welcoming more community events joining us as one community.

Veniece Patel

Carnival is Colour New Art Gallery July 14th

Our producers, Shireenah Ingrem and Veniece Patel had their first opportunity in a work placement to assist children and young people perform their Carnival dances in front of each other. 7 school groups from Walsall (Key Stage 2) performed in the New Art Gallery on July 14th along with 5 groups of children and young people from ACE dance and music class programme.
Over the following blog posts you can see how their work placements offered new skills in how to develop producer skills for Caribbean Carnival dance and music events along with partner ACE dance and music and Black Voices.  Catch some of their enthusiasm and observations!

Producer development opportunity for two early career project managers in outdoor arts & carnival events


As advertised with Outdoor Arts:

Freelance contract: June to September 2023

Starts: 12th June 

Deadline: Thursday 1st June 

Reports to: Virginia Wollaston:

Fee: £5000

Details of Route 34 and summer events here

Moving Souls Dance is an independent arts organisation that provides a range of services for artists, arts organisations and agencies, specialising in outdoor participatory arts and climate justice arts activism. We produce, we partner with arts organisations and offer professional and personal development to encourage career progression. 

MSD co-produced some aspects of Route 34: Embracing Cultures project alongside Ace dance and music and North Birmingham Alliance (NBA) funded through Our Creative City and Birmingham City Council for the B2022 Festival as part of the Commonwealth Games.

Over the Summer (June 12th – 14th September 2023), this pilot programme of producer development and work experience is targeted for 2 early career diverse producers, working with Caribbean Carnival dance costumes over 6 events and one event with young people, delivered with partner organisations.  Producers who apply need at least 2 years of experience in arts management.

 MSD will be working with NBA to deliver Carnival events as part of Birmingham 2023 Festival and Windrush celebration events at the National Arboretum.  MSD will also be working in partnership with Wolverhampton LCEP to deliver a Carnival event at Newhampton Arts Centre specifically programmed for and with neuro-diverse young people. Activities will be curated by specifically appointed arts organisation agreed by the steering group (

The producers that are taken onto this programme, will attend up to 6 days of training offered by 3 members of the steering group for this programme. Each producer will undertake a specific area of research to identify and understand in what way this programme can assist diverse producers to gain skills in outdoor arts. The programme will encourage individuals to learn and develop leadership roles for their future careers. Working with a mentor will allow individuals to address any gaps in skills and experience and overcome any obstacles/ barriers to developing their role in outdoor arts and carnival in the future.

MSD are committed to placing Climate Justice and sustainability at the heart of what we continue to produce and promote. The use of recycled or re-purposed materials for these events plus recycled materials and recommendation of public transport and no single plastic materials will be required.

Background information and application submission:

This is a role that addresses the gap for producers in the West Midlands for outdoor arts and carnival events. All the events plus training listed in the appendix will take place in the West Midlands. These dates are non-negotiable. We actively encourage applications from all backgrounds, genders and ages, and particularly welcome applications from people that are currently under-represented in the arts sector and/or who are Black or from the global majority and/or with lived experience of disability or neurodivergence.

Submission of application to by Thursday 1st June 12 noon

The date for the interviews will be Monday 5th June and will take place on Zoom. 

This bursary will cover your time attending and planning specific activities listed plus time for personal research and documentation. Travel within the West Midlands will be covered. 

You can apply in any of the following formats:
CV and letter. The letter should be no more than one side of A4.
An audio recording of no more than 3 minutes. A video recording of no more than 3 minutes.
Whichever way you choose to make your application please tell us: your reasons for applying, your special interests / experiences and highlight any project you led/ been part off. 

Workshop days will cover: 

The 5 days of training: July 7th – 9th & July 15th & 16th will cover: 

  • Legal and administrative requirements for outdoor arts events that are created in Local Authority / City centre venues & locations
  • Management, registration and licensing documents for all events
  • Requirements for Safeguarding and Health & Safety (including Risk Assessments for each event) when managing participatory events with children, young people and adults
  • Setting up and managing media/ social media campaigns to attract audiences to events
  • Understanding partnership and stakeholder agreements and managing communication between different stakeholders
  • Understanding the cultural and historical significance of Carnival traditions of costume and dance from the Caribbean as presented in the specific events (see Appendix)
  • Understanding the evaluation methodology and Survey Monkey questionnaires to capture numbers and evaluation of audiences and participants to each of the events 

Work placements will involve:

The Producer will take on key tasks (supervised by partners ACE dance and music and Newhampton Arts) to assist the delivery of key events identified in Appendix on specific days and dates.  Tasks will include the following:

  • Provide services to support lead partner organisations (working with MSD) with specific duties identified by each partner for the 5 events identified in the Appendix 
  • Produce Administration support to ensure H&S/ Risk Assessment and Safeguarding guidelines are put in place with professional artists and volunteer stewards on the day.
  • Provide clear communication of timetables, location, roles and responsibilities to artists, participants and volunteers for each event 
  • Understand budget allocation and management of finances, including research for specific resources attached to each project
  • Agree media guidelines and media consent forms have been signed so that Media coverage on selected social media platforms can promote these events 
  • Undertake social media postings & updates with MSD and partner organisations platforms
  • Develop community and volunteer engagement guidelines with timetables and location for all chaperones/ adult & YP participants
  • Working with Newhampton Arts Centre and their curated arts programme with neuro-diverse young people
  • Report to MSD Directors on a monthly basis on agreed targets for the successful outcome and delivery of each event
  • Attend all of 6 events to manage agreed aspects of the delivery of each event (specifically costume procession/ evaluation and artist workshops)
  • Agree evaluation and audit of participation numbers and audience attendance
  • Set up Survey Monkey questionnaire and evaluation audit
  • Collate evaluation data and feedback from events
  • Liaise with partners organisations for key tasks/ management of delivery timetable 
  • Liaise with appointed video/ film maker and photographer (in agreement with MSD) to document the events
  • Complete research into producing Carnival/ Outdoor events around selected topic
  • Document the process and the learning outcomes in a final report to MSD

Essential skills:

  • 2 years of experience delivering projects, producing or project managing in an arts context, including community and participation
  • Experience of working with artists, participants and audiences within a project timetable
  • A passion for outdoor arts and carnival events to provide participants and audiences with high quality experiences 
  • Excellent planning, organizational and communication skills and the ability to communicate with a number of different stakeholders
  • Experience as a team player with a solutions focused attitude for all those involved 
  • Numerate and experienced in common office software with good level of administrative skills 
  • Ability to use and access social media tools and platforms to document and reach audiences for each event
  • A high level of self-motivation – ability to work on own initiative 
  • Ability to think creatively and solve problems 

Desirable skills:

  • Experience of managing outreach and engagement projects 
  • Experience and understanding of venue management and operations



7th – 9th July:  3 day workshop training with MSD LS & DM

15th – 16th July:   2 day workshop training with MSD LS & DM 

14th July:  1 day work placement – Dance & Carnival schools festival with Black Country Dance Hub in Walsall (Walsall Art Gallery)

23 July:  Observation of Community Spirit Festival (evaluation support)

5 August:  1 day work placement B2023 Festival – Carnival costume & live music with ACEDM youth & adult groups in Centenary Square 

6 August: 1 day work placement Windrush 70th anniversary with ACEDM / Black Voices at National Arboretum (  a 2 hour slot on stage’s-on/events

9-12th August (tbc): 4 days work placement for co-creation programme for Same Difference Festival based at Newhampton Arts Centre

13th August:  1 day work placement Festival at NAC

26 August: 1 day work placement Carnival procession & dance for NBA Doorstep Carnival GRS, Perry Barr Birmingham

27 August: 1 day work placement Birmingham Weekender ACEDM Carnival Costume & dance procession from Hippodrome Theatre to Bullring & St Martins Church & back

August 30th / 31st: Meeting to de-brief per trainee, reflect and refine specific learning

14th September:  Final research report and evaluation submitted

October 9th: Final report submitted to ACE by MSD

Round Up Of The Year

With Christmas on the horizon and New Year around the corner, Nicholas and I have been reflecting on everything we have witnessed and achieved in 2017.

We can confirm that all our projects this year have been successfully completed or well on their way.

We have just returned from visiting WWT Caerlaverock to see the Artful Migration artist in residence work (Angela Alexander-Lloyd) based on the whooper swan migration from Iceland to Dumfries.

Otherwise all the carnival projects, Circus Magic and Daksha Sheth Dance Company projects are now complete so take a look at these highlights!

Into 2018 and beyond…plus take a little rest to enjoy the sites!

I will be going to India (Trivandrum, Karnataka and Jaipur Literature Festival) to research future partnerships for Moving Souls Dance in 2018 and beyond.

Wishing you well for Christmas and the New Year

Here are our highlights from 2017:

Daksha Sheth Dance Company Residency Week – PT2

The Daksha Sheth Dance Company Residency Week consisted of various workshops for Primary School Pupils and for Youth Dancers from the MAC.

This blog will focus on the aerial and rope workshop with Young Dancers from Rogueplay which were conducted between 11th-12th October by Isha Sharvani.

The workshop included:

Brief introduction to Indian Dance and their contemporary work – this drew on classical and martial art forms and other aerial work.

Introducing students to dance and aerial work – this is the main part of the workshop. This will include exploring both Indian martial art form and aerial rope work that is combined in the performance work of the Daksha Sheth Dance Company

Choreographic Tasks – The workshop will culminate in a short opportunity for participants to develop their own choreography using the elements of dance and aerial work during the workshop.

Demonstration – Near the end of the workshop, Isha Sharvani may demonstrate to participants a sequence of movements that were used during Sari to show how the company itself is trying to develop it’s style.

Daksha Sheth Dance Company Residency Week – PT1

The Daksha Sheth Dance Company Residency Week consisted of various workshops for Primary School Pupils and for Youth Dancers from the MAC.

This blog will focus on the workshops which took place in Primary Schools, across the Midlands between the 9th-12th October 2017.

Schools include:

  • St John’s C of E Primary School, Birmingham
  • Caslon Primary School, Halesowen
  • Russells Hall Primary School, Dudley
  • Alderman Richard Allen Primary School, Leicester

This workshop was led by Devissaro and Tao Issaro and lasted from one to one and a half hours. The object of the workshop was to introduce students to elements of Indian music, culminating in teaching them a short song with vocal rhythmic accompaniment.

In Indian music, the voice is supreme, and irrespective of whether a person wishes to train in vocal music or in any Indian instrument, the basic principle is that all Indian music first begins with the voice. The voice is therefore the ideal entry into Indian music.

The workshop will cover the following sections:

THEORY: A brief introduction to Indian classical music and its similarities and differences to western music.

MELODIC: The workshop included traditional Indian vocal exercises aimed at developing pitch literacy and fluency.

RHYTHMIC: Tao Issaro, will begin by demonstrating and teaching the basic talas (rhythmic cycles) of Indian music. He will then give exercises that develop the capacity to improvise rhythmically in talam, using both body rhythm and Konnokol, the Indian tradition of vocalised rhythm.

The workshop finished with participants being taught one original song, which incorporated various practices they learnt throughout the workshop.

Birmingham Weekender Festival 23rd and 24th September 2017

Birmingham Weekender Procession  11am – 1pm Saturday 23rd September starting High Street moving down Birmingham New Street to Victoria Square


I am so excited to finally see this amazing procession Utsav come to Birmingham New Street as a unique celebration of the diverse cultures of Birmingham with an iconic elephant leading the way!

Moving Souls Dance have been working with ACE dance and music and RJC Dance from Leeds to create award winning costumes and on Saturday morning these will be seen in Birmingham for the first time.  Come and see us dance Caribbean Carnival style in Victoria Square from 12 noon – 1pm!

Don’t miss this spectacular moment in Birmingham! 

Use #circuscircle for all photos you upload onto facebook and twitter so we can be the most popular in town.

See you there…