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Former dancer is inspiration for Civic performance in aid of Barnsley Hospice

Sheffield based Hype Dance Company are to stage a performance at The Civic, in a cabaret setting, in support of Barnsley Hospice.

Dali’s Guest is described as ‘a charming collaboration of contemporary dance, music and visual art inspired by Surrealism and the effects of cancer on the body.’

Influenced by real life stories from cancer patients the show explores how the disease affects body manipulation and distortion. Put together with moments of sheer fun and absurdity, fully involving the audience who are taken on a surreal, emotional journey.

A close friend of the artistic director, Anna Olejnicki, former dancer Rachel Guest, who is a patient at Barnsley Hospice, is the main inspiration for this new production which will make its debut at The Civic with the aim of helping people understand what it’s like to live with a terminal illness.

The 34-year-old was diagnosed with spinal cancer in 2001 and attends day therapy sessions at the Hospice. Now unable to dance due to chronic pain, Rachel, who lives in Barnsley, has helped choreograph ‘Dali’s Guest’ with her old dance school, Hype Dance Company.

Anna, who took inspiration for the show from surrealist balls and lavish costume parties of the 1970s, commented: “Our aim was to make people think and experience life with cancer. We picked out elements of Rachel’s story and peppered it with bonkers things!”

This cabaret evening includes a local community cast.

A spokesperson for the Hospice said: “The show sounds like it will really help to promote understanding of the journey that people go through with a life-limiting illness, and the part that hospice care can play in this journey.

“Encouraging conversations about death, dying and end-of-life care is really important, and we hope that this production will spark some of those conversations, as well as raising awareness of Barnsley Hospice and the care it gave to Rachel.

“We’re also very grateful to everyone involved in the production for choosing to support our charity and help us raise the £2.2m we need to raise each year to care for patients and their families.”

Hype Dance is on Saturday 8 September at 7:30pm. Tickets are £10  (£8 conc) and NHS staff will receive a discount on bookings.

For more information and to book visit www.barnsleycivic.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01226 327000.

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