Culture means different things to people; from art to sport, music, theatre, dance and much more. In our series of 'Our Community' interviews, we introduce you to some the many Sotonians who have helped to keep culture alive in our city throughout the recent pandemic.
Tell us about yourself and your links to Southampton
I am a born and bred Sotonian, whose work has taken me all over the world. But as they say there's no place like home! My company, ZoieLogic Dance Theatre, exists to challenge the perceptions of dance, who it's for, and how it's presented. We are nationally acclaimed for our work with men and dance, all beginning 20 years ago with FuzzyLogic, our male youth dance company, still going strong today. We have toured the UK with our shows and projects. In recent years we have been very proud to have brought Guildhall Square to life with our local communities in a series of moments and events, including the grand opening performance of Studio 144 and The Grid Experience last summer.
Why is Southampton special to you?
Time spent in the city centre was a regular affair for my family when I was growing up. From our Saturday shopping wanders (or drag round Debenhams by Dad!), to Sundays spent at the Old Bowling Green, where my Nan was the well known landlady.
What’s your favourite place in Southampton?
It has to be the old city walls; I spent many hours running round them as a kid, pretending to reenact Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and making up ghost stories. That interest hasn't stopped; when I walk by them now I often wonder...if those walls could talk, imagine the stories they could tell.
What does culture mean to you?
Culture to me means a place where we can explore who we are and share experiences, It's inviting, inspires and connects people.
How has lockdown affected the work of ZoieLogic?
Lockdown.....No day seems without its challenges. We are constantly re-planning, shifting and morphing to make moments of connection happen for the communities we work with. I am proud to say that the ZoieLogic team is exceptional; optimism and creativity win every-time. Our youth dance company lads have not missed a session this whole year, they keep us going.
Our community led projects have found new ways to keep connecting. Launching the Grid Experience last year was an amazing achievement. It was first event in the city since the initial lock down, with 64 people moving together, celebrating the power of sharing space again.....the whole event totally blew me away!
Why should Southampton be named City of Culture 2025?
Southampton is a hidden treasure; there are wonders under the surface that need to be brought to light. It is a city full of pride and it's people are the beating heart. UK City of Culture would be an amazing opportunity to bring our stories to life and create lifelong memories. To see our city come alive would be extremely exciting.