Community Day 2017 takes dance to new heights

Over 2000 people of all ages turned out on a scorcher of a day for this year’s Community Day on the Dartington estate – and enjoyed a sneak preview of Dartington’s new Deer Park attraction, as well as European theatre, craft, music, hands on learning and the biggest array yet of delicious food to sample.

A big draw was three performances by Italian theatre company Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo in the courtyard who, towering above spectators on three foot stilts, danced Musetta, a waltz of incredible grace.

Gallery: Best images from Community Day 2017

Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo perform 'Musetta' - an astonishing 'waltz on stilts'

Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo perform 'Musetta' - an astonishing 'waltz on stilts'

Gong Meditation in the Tiltyards' 'peaceful cathedral space'

Gong Meditation in the Tiltyards' 'peaceful cathedral space'

Visitors take a short journey into the 'ancient, mysterious spiral of the Labyrinth'

Visitors take a short journey into the 'ancient, mysterious spiral of the Labyrinth'

Jazz-addicted 20-somethings, Kansas Smitty’s House Band, round the day off in style

Jazz-addicted 20-somethings, Kansas Smitty’s House Band, round the day off in style

Celebrating Dartington's new Deer Park attraction with a medieval 'Pageant Walk'

Celebrating Dartington's new Deer Park attraction with a medieval 'Pageant Walk'

Captain Dada's nonplussed pirate gets some much-needed help from the audience

Captain Dada's nonplussed pirate gets some much-needed help from the audience

Dynamic Adventures host archery sessions in Aller Park field

Dynamic Adventures host archery sessions in Aller Park field

A visitor meets an owl from Totnes Rare Breeds

A visitor meets an owl from Totnes Rare Breeds

Beautiful Balinese instruments are expertly put through their paces at the Gamelan concert

Beautiful Balinese instruments are expertly put through their paces at the Gamelan concert

Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo perform 'Musetta' - an astonishing 'waltz on stilts'

Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo perform 'Musetta' - an astonishing 'waltz on stilts'

Jazz-addicted 20-somethings, Kansas Smitty’s House Band, round the day off in style

Jazz-addicted 20-somethings, Kansas Smitty’s House Band, round the day off in style

Singer Holly Ebony performs from her album 'Wee Wild Beasties!'

Singer Holly Ebony performs from her album 'Wee Wild Beasties!'

Getting hands-on with a parachute in the sunshine

Getting hands-on with a parachute in the sunshine


Meanwhile Soundart Radio, the local FM radio station based on the estate, led a family medieval pageants to hobby horse making and medieval games in the Deer Park. A beautiful array of cakes and tea in colourful cups from Schumacher College’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party greeted families at the pick-up/drop-off point of the ever popular tractor trailer rides around the estate, while buskers entertained diners at the fantastic new Green Table café. The culmination was a packed performance by jazz musicians Kansas Smitty’s House Band into the evening.

This incredibly popular annual event aims to share the unique mix of things to there are to do and experience on the estate all year round – programmed by both the Trust and by the businesses based there – taking in arts to outdoor pursuits, craft to food production, therapeutic practice to the finding out more about the estate’s history.

While the event was free, the Trust were very grateful for over £500 in donations from visitors towards the £300,000 annual cost of caring for Dartington Hall grounds and gardens.

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3 thoughts on “Community Day 2017 takes dance to new heights

  1. The theatre and dance performances were a result of a brilliant EU funded ERAMUS + project: RIOTE. Dance was taken to new heights thanks to this year long project which enabled 5 companies to visit each other, perform and study each others techniques. Visit Broken Spectacles website for more info.

  2. This article made no reference to the display of art and crafts so well received by many visitors. The art of making good things is a fundemental ethos of Dartington, one which has continued since it’s foundation by Dorothy and Leonard. The bookbinding, printmaking and stone carving at Shippon’ are unsurpassed by ‘ new’ crafts at Schumacher and Shinners Shops but not always acknowledged equitably.

    1. Hi Graham – thanks for your comment. Craft is actually mentioned twice in the article, although not in great detail as this piece is intented to be a general roundup of the day, rather than a comprehensive overview of everything that happened. We definitely agree that craft is a huge part of Dartington’s story though and hope this is being reflected in our new Craft Revolution programmes and in the decor behind The Green Table cafe, for example.

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