Disabled orchestra and dancers to stage huge parade through the streets of South Bristol
It’s the most important thing that has happened in Knowle West in years – a unique musical parade through the streets of Filwood with a 70-piece orchestra and troupe of dancers.
The event is called Smoosh! and organizers promise to bring “mind-blowing karaoke pop classics” with music and dancing in two separate parades on Friday afternoon and evening.
It is staged by Paraorchestra, a Bristol-based orchestra which is the world’s first full-scale virtuoso ensemble of professional musicians with and without disabilities.
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And for the people of Knowle West – who have already gotten a glimpse of rehearsals that have taken place in and around the Filwood Center in recent weeks – the promise to host a “roaring music parade” around the grounds.
Para-orchestras perform across the country and abroad, but say the people of Knowle West will be the first in the world to have a “unique and joyful musical experience” which they say will be a “much-needed antidote to the months. lockout and no live music.
The parade takes place Friday, September 17 and starts at 4 p.m. in front of the Filwood Center in the heart of Knowle West, with a second performance on a different route around the grand estate starting at 6:30 p.m.
The Smoosh Show! will be a dance and music performance featuring a core of 20 professional para-orchestral musicians, 50 other amateur wind and brass players and an “inclusive army” of professional and community dancers of all ages, including a youth team the Flamingo Chicks, a local inclusive dance charity.
The Musical Extravagance songlist includes everyone from Knowle West’s Massive Attack and Tricky, to Basement Jaxx, Fat Boy Slim and Adele.
“Residents will be encouraged to come out their doorstep to dance and sing along in beautiful community karaoke – a ‘massaoke’,” said a spokesperson for the event.
“The loud and vibrant ensemble will take two routes through Knowle West, passing some of the community’s beloved iconic sites, starting and ending on Filwood Broadway near the Filwood Community Center,” she added.
Paraorchestra Artistic Director Charles Hazlewood said the orchestra’s mission is to “redefine what an orchestra can be.” “We see it as an extraordinary and perfectly synchronized set of instruments which is inspired by the tradition of the centuries but which is enriched and extended by the talents, the instruments and the zeitgeist of the 21st century”, he said. he declares.
“The visible participation of talented musicians with and without disabilities playing the old and new repertoire, which includes analog, digital or assistive instruments alongside traditional acoustic instruments, is a radical change in the world of music. orchestral. This new “breed” of orchestra has its place in rock festivals as much as in a concert hall; reach the widest range of audiences. he added.
“We were really lucky to share the first release of SMOOSH! with the community of Knowle West, ”he said.
“It’s a big-hearted community and they welcomed us with open arms, for which we are extremely grateful. In addition, Knowle West’s amazing town planning, with its wide wide streets and front garden housing, means that we can deliver this hugely ambitious musical project in a safe and accessible manner, with no one missing. As Paraorchestra performs across the UK and overseas, we are based in Bristol and put our whole heart and soul into everything we put here. In September, we are very much owned by the people of Knowle West. “
Local Knowle West musical artist Makala Cheung, who is the creative director of the Filwood Community Center, said the involvement of the entire community has been amazing.
“To work with Paraorchestra and do something in this community, but to invite the wider community of Bristol to join us is amazing,” she said.
“It’s an opportunity for people to get involved, collaborate and spread positive vibes. I think it’s going to be like the parades we’ve had before, but 100 times better and even more fabulous. We all need more of things like this, especially after the year we’ve had, ”she added.
The Paraorchestra has been an “associate artist” with Bristol Beacon since 2019. Artistic Director Todd Wills has said he is keen to make cultural things like this accessible to people in Bristol.
“Not only is it fantastic to continue our long and creative partnership with Paraorchestra, but to have the opportunity to work alongside the Filwood Community Center and to focus this project outside of the city center is essential for the work we are doing. let’s do Bristol Beacon, ”he said. .
“We want culture to be accessible to everyone across the city and it’s projects like SMOOSH! and the dedication of everyone involved that makes this possible, ”he added.
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