East Wall: Storm the Tower

July 2018 almost 10,000 people climbed into the Tower of London moat to witness the summer’s biggest dance spectacle as over 150 dancers and musicians stormed the Tower in a spectacular celebration of east London’s rich cultural heritage and diversity.

“One of the most extraordinary theatrical events I have seen in a long, long while… London is the crucible for this kind of artistic alchemy and it belongs to all of us.” 
(The Stage, Neil Norman) ★★★★★

“Thanks @EastLondonDance @HofeshCo @LIFTfestival & old friends @HRP_palaces for dreaming big. #EastWall” (@DawnJAustwick)

Click above to watch our final documentary episode covering East Wall production week

Bringing together dance styles from krump to court and contemporary and fuelled by rousing music from The Band of the Irish Guards, contemporary a cappella vocal group The Gold Vocal Collective, rock musicians, strings and vocalists and the rebellious history of the site itself, East Wall was the Tower’s first large-scale artistic presentation since the award-winning Poppies installation in 2014.

“An expression of human complexity that combined community with conflict, vitality with violence, civilisation with its discontents.” (The Guardian, Sanjoy Roy) ★★★★★

“Young people, professional dancers, singers & musicians, superb choreography, guardsmen in full livery, backdrop of Tower of London. Formidable & exhilarating! Excellent. #EastWall @HofeshCo @LIFTfestival @EastLondonDance @HRP_palaces” (@altheaefunshile)

Image by: ©Historic Royal Palaces / Richard Lea-Hair

Directed by the internationally-celebrated artist and choreographer Hofesh Shechter, East Wall invited audiences to discover dynamic new dance created by Becky Namgauds, Duwane Taylor, James Finnemore and Joseph Toonga, four of London’s most exciting young choreographers.

“Four emerging choreographers, and Shechter himself, … deliver a roundhouse kick to expectations.” (Exeunt Magazine, Ka Bradley)

“Last night just demonstrated how important it is to support organisations like @EastLondonDance such an inspiring project encouraging the next generation of artists #EastWall #StormtheTower” (@C_Marciano_) 

Click above to watch the playlist of all our East Wall films

Over five unforgettable summer evenings, professional dancers including Shechter II went toe to toe with community dance groups from Big Deal Dance, Cando2, Elevate Dance Company, Incognito Dance Company, Just Us Collective, One Youth Dance, Shift Dance Company and University of East London in an emotional performance which brought the history of the capital’s most iconic building to life and the audience to its feet.

 “the opportunity for these young dancers to share the space and time with such a professional team including the dancers in Shechter II must’ve been an invaluable experience that will enrich each of them in their personal journey, whether they become professional dancers, or not.” (The Wonderful World of Dance, Coral Montejano Cantoral)

“Some kids performing in #EastWall lived less than 4 miles from the Tower but had never visited it. If we celebrate & support artistic ventures that encourage & educate young people we can change lives & conversations. @EastLondonDance @HofeshCo @HRP_palaces @LIFTfestival ” (@slondonuk)

Image by: Tony Birch

We would like to thank all our project partners, performers, creatives, technical, backstage and front of house teams and funders for being involved in this unforgettable project with us.

Produced by East London Dance and Hofesh Shechter Company, commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces and presented by Historic Royal Palaces and LIFT

Costume Design Partner, London College of Fashion, UAL
Supporting Partner, Performing Arts Department, UEL

Funded by Arts Council England, Backstage Trust, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation, Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service (THAMES), HeadStart Newham and J P Jacobs Charitable Trust

East Wall was the culmination of a four-year talent development programme led by Hofesh Shechter Company and East London Dance, working with young choreographers, dancers and community groups.

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