• FourSevenTwo Productions

“Made in Dagenham is bold, electric, and full of personality!” Hannah Klim & Choreographing the 60s

First and foremost, my inspiration as a choreographer comes from the music. The songs in Made in Dagenham not only showcase the emotional depth and complexity of the story but also encapsulate the fun of the sixties through songs like Cortina and Payday. The music is bursting with personality that simply makes me want to move. Sitting in the back of music rehearsals before Christmas, I was able to see our Musical Director Josh bring to life. The personalities that our actors bring to these musical numbers has inspired me to create movement which matches their energy and enthusiasm. My ultimate goal as a choreographer is to complement the wonderful singing of our cast with dance which encapsulates the rich cultural history of the 1960s.

Men and women dance in the street, dressed in 60s costume
Flashmob, Oxford City Centre. Photography by Ben Darwent

The social dance of the time was centered on individuality and free movement. For the first time ever, most of the dances of the day didn’t require a partner and often lacked specific steps. Dances like The Twist, The Mashed Potato, The Swim, and The Hitch-Hike were all made popular through American Bandstand and other shows of its kind. My hope is to pay homage to these fun and high spirited dance styles throughout the production.

Dancers perform in a clothing store with audience looking on
Performance of Hannah's choreography in high-street store John Lewis Oxford. Photography by Seb Dows-Miller

My favourite song from the production changes nearly every time I listen to the score, but a particular stand-out has to be Storm Clouds. Though it isn’t a very dance heavy number, Storm Clouds is a climactic song in which our characters feel that everything is falling apart and that there is nothing quite as powerful as the entire ensemble singing together as they do in Storm Clouds. The first time I heard this song in rehearsals, it truly gave me chills.

Made in Dagenham runs at the Oxford Playhouse from 13th to 16th February; tickets are available here with a special student discount only available until Sunday 10th February

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