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This spring, each of Derby's five Reimagine Hubs is taking the chance to share their work, learning and experiences from the ambitious city-wide project, with the spotlight on a different Hub every month.

From April to May, the team at Déda will share our journey with Reimagine2020 and the Derwent/Chaddesden Hub; from Zoom choreography through the first lockdown, to socially distanced workshops in our theatre last autumn and returning to work with schools this spring.

Déda's four part blog series will be told through the voices of some of the young people and artists that we have worked with, along with the members of our team who have pulled the project together behind the scenes.

In the first of Déda's four blogs, we reflect on the experience of Reimagine2020 last summer, which called for young people aged 18-25 to reimagine a future post Covid-19 and take part in an innovative online project.

Scroll down to find out more about Déda's dance response and watch the final works created by the talented participants.

Simon Marshall, Learning Coordinator [Reimagine] for Déda, shares his thoughts:

"Our Reimagine2020 programme was our way of keeping young people dancing when the world felt like it was coming to a standstill. We wanted to ensure young people were factoring being creative into their futures, alongside the strange reality of the day to day of lockdown.

In a time where a lot of Déda’s staff were furloughed, and in-person work had stopped, we were able to offer a virtual dance studio, with professional artists Gareth Woodward and Daniel Longhurst, and literally reimagine how we could choreograph together.

Knowing that we were one strand in a variety of artforms taking place online: writing, theatre, filmmaking, graffiti art and musicmaking, gave the whole project a feeling of community too. We were the dance troupe making work together, but elsewhere, as has been the mission of the Reimagine programme since its beginning, amazing artists and young people were creating brilliant activity together too.

The dance pieces that were created are a testament to the young people’s individuality and expression. They’re moving, they’re playful and they’re honest. I’ve been thrilled that a lot of the young people have taken these pieces further too – submitting the work for national competitions, joining performance groups locally and regionally, or even just reflecting on the year with pride."

Young participant Matilda documented her experience in a blog:

Young participant, Phebe shared her learning from the project:

"It's been brilliant to have a goal and challenge every week to keep my creativity flowing.

I learnt so much off my resident artists too - I thought Gareth and Daniel were both amazing - and it was so great to learn from their experiences and knowledge of the field as professionals. The support and advice they gave was just brilliant. It was lovely to work with Simon too, I will definitely be looking at Déda and following their progress now after working with him."

Watch the wonderful final pieces created in the video below, with choreography from our young participants created with lead artists Gareth Woodward and Daniel Longhurst.

About Reimagine2020 and Reimagine


In spring 2020, Derby Theatre, Baby People, Déda, Artcore, and Wrongsemble called out to young people and families to reimagine a future after Covid-19 and get involved in a new digital creative project during lockdown.

There were 3 ways to get involved to make a creative response to this question: how would you reimagine the world differently when lockdown ends?

The project has now ended, but there will be more opportunities to get involved soon!


Reimagine is an ambitious, strategically connected, performance programme delivered with young people in the city's areas of lowest cultural engagement.

Through the project, Derby’s performing arts organisations collaboratively support the young people across 5 ‘hubs’ through progressive encounters with inspirational artists and settings.

The young people will produce their own work, reimagine everyday spaces and author the story of their lives in innovative and extraordinary performances.

As new skills are nurtured, families will be engaged, teachers will gain new knowledge and the young will uncover routes to creative careers.

The five Reimagine Hubs are...

  • Abbey, working with Derby Theatre
  • Chaddesden/Derwent, working with Déda
  • Normanton/Arboretum, working with Artcore
  • Sinfin, working with Baby People
  • Virtual Hub, working with Sinfonia Viva and SEND schools (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)

Reimagine has been made possible through £1.1 million of investment from Arts Council England through the Young People’s Performance Fund, with additional support from Derby’s Opportunity Area, Derby County in the Community Trust and Derby City Council.

Find out more at us for next week's blog where we look back at recent work with the Derwent and Chaddesden Hubs and Déda.


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