spinning jenny

2001. Dance and puppetry workshop for schools.

Choreography, concept, design and construction of puppets: Sue Hawksley.
Music: Scott Hawkins

R & D supported by funding from the Peak Potential Millennium Awards Scheme

A creative workshop for schoolchildren exploring the exploitation of child-labour in Derbyshire's cotton-mills during the industrial revolution, using dance, movement and puppetry to encourage a creative and animated approach to an historical subject. The aim of this project is to heighten the children's understanding of the industrial revolution and the changes to social, economic and cultural life it brought about, the often appalling conditions for children working in the mills, and the movements which eventually led to change and improvement.

In the telling of this story the characters of Jenny, Mule and Cotton Boll are played by puppets. Children participating in the workshop create dance and movement sequences to represent and help explain the functioning of the milling machinery, the daily routine and the exploitation of the child-labourers.

Piloted with KS 2 children at Bishop's Pursglove Primary School in Tideswell, Derbyshire, 2001.