Last week marked the first step on a journey of dreams for a group of Jutland youngsters. 140 children, aged between 5-10, from across the region came together at VIA University College in Viborg to imagine what their Land of Wishes would look like.
Alberte Winding, Jan Rørdam and Dansehallerne lent their assistance and warmed up the crowd with music and dance performances. The children then attended a workshop to assist the creation of the dance which will be performed at the regional children’s opening on 20 January 2017, one day before the official opening of the Capital of Culture year.
This was the first workshop of many and marks a collaboration between 19 municipalities across the Central Denmark Region which will put music, dance and children in focus. Teachers, artists and local cultural institutions will work together to create a unique experience for the children throughout 2017.
Juliana Engberg, Programme Director of Aarhus 2017, opened the day by talking to the children and emphasising their importance, saying they are very important to us, in fact the most important people, who will open the Capital of Culture year. Engberg stressed that the children will create their own future and decide how their world will be like. This year is all about being creative, and in Denmark she said, "you are all very good at it."
Alberte Winding encouraged the children to explore their Land of Wishes and told them they were in control, adding “today you can do anything.”
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The children were in control for the day to dance and get creative, with a reporter also in attendance to interview the participants.
So far everyone is looking forward to the opening, with Dansehallerne adding:
"It has been an inspiration to see the drawings and hear stories from the kids today. It is fun when you give children something to work with, they give you something back right away.” Adding, “when you are a kid you do things together, and that is what we will base our dance on. We are so excited to experience this fantasy paradise and see what children dream of."
Rebecca Matthews, CEO of Aarhus 2017, is also excited to see what the regional children's opening of the culture year will bring:
“We can learn a lot from children, I think the Land of Wishes is going to be extraordinary… and I can’t wait to see what happens.”
When the workshop ended Dansehallerne reminded the children that they too, can start looking forward to Aarhus 2017:
“This is only the start of the Land of Wishes for Aarhus 2017.”