A MAJOR arts project developed by a Derby-based organisation, which focused on developing cultural tourism in the region, has won a prestigious national award.
Elemental Force, developed by Déda Producing – part of leading regional dance house Déda in Chapel Street - in partnership with Johal Strategic Services, won a bronze award in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, Tourism Event of the Year.
The Awards, announced on May 12 at Cheltenham Racecourse, celebrated the best of English tourism and promoted England’s place as a world-class destination.
Elemental Force shared the stage with Kendal Mountain Festival which took gold and Beaulieu International Autojumble which came second. Highly commended in the category went to Trent Bridge for hosting The Investec Ashes Test.
Elemental Force was an innovative outdoor performance incorporating high-tech digital projections, aerial performance and spectacular pyrotechnics.
It was launched at Chatsworth House in December 2012 and then toured key venues in the East Midlands in Spring 2013 - including the Silk Mill in Derby as well as Nottingham and Newark castles.
Each free evening production showcased the industrial heritage and historic past of the region – from the Industrial Revolution and Civil War to the worldwide pedigree of today’s manufacturing companies such as Rolls-Royce plc.
The project was supported by Arts Council England, Experience Nottinghamshire and Visit Peak District & Derbyshire and performances at each venue were attended by thousands of people.
Stephen Munn, Director of Déda Producing said: “We are delighted to have won such a prestigious award and this recognition by Visit England will further establish Déda Producing’s growing national reputation.
“It will hopefully open many more doors for us to showcase our expertise in the outdoor arts arena.
“The inspiration for Elemental Force came from the opening ceremonies of London 2012 which showed the public appetite for Britain’s history and culture, when it is presented to them in an exciting and entertaining way.
“It also demonstrated how art, culture, history and entertainment can meet successfully, which can, of course, also provide a boost for tourism and this was further borne out in the success of Elemental Force.
“The performances achieved our objective to let people engage with the arts and the story of where they live in a new and enjoyable way.”
Déda Producing brought together a diverse creative team to develop Elemental Force.
The innovative projections were designed by Barret Hodgeson and Mick McNicholas - part of the Development team of the Doctor Who BBC Online Games – and the soundtrack was created by Scanner – an electronic musician who has previously worked with high profile artists like Radiohead. Direction was by Liz Pugh with Production by Walk the Plank.
Stephen Munn concluded: “The success of Déda Producing lies in its flexibility to bring together a hand-picked team of artists to create bespoke and unique outdoor performances.
“We attracted the support and funding from our partners because of our track record of producing large scale outdoor performances, notably Games Time which was an acclaimed part of the London Festival 2012.”
Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Editors
Déda (formerly known as Derby Dance) is a unique venue located in Derby city centre offering a dance-focussed arts programme. The building houses two performance spaces, two professionally equipped dance studios, conferencing facilities and the CUBE café|bar.
With a class curriculum of almost 50 classes a week and an extensive community development programme Déda is one of the key cultural organisations in the city.
Déda receives funding from Arts Council England and Derby City Council.
About Arts Council England
The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk