Between 2009 and 2014 I was Chairman of Ashbrooke Sports Club in Sunderland, one of the UKs oldest surviving multi-sports facilities with and history stretching back over 200 years. During this time we created and curated a new music event called Split Festival that was set up to support and showcases local musical and other creative artistic talents. We used the sports field areas of the club to not only create the festival but also encourage a whole new generation of people to understand that the facility has an “open to all” policy after several decades as a private members only club.
As part of our drive for a “family friendly” atmosphere Penella and her colleagues regularly provided a children’s entertainment area, dance routines, fancy dress themes and at one event even showcased a fire-eating routine to create a pre-fireworks atmosphere! In addition she and colleagues would also make the event more special for the younger audience by stilt walking dressed as cartoon characters and engaging children in the fun of the whole event.
Along with her own performance skills as an amazing dancer and acrobat she has also worked for many years in the local Creative Arts markets providing dance classes, entertainment and guidance for a range of projects and is very much established as part of the creative arts scene in Sunderland, which is also making a bid for the City of Culture award for 2021.
Penella is extremely talented and a fantastic performer, it’s not just her talent that has meant we have approached her year on year to come along to work at our family events, her vibrant personality really makes her work come alive. We have commissioned Penella to come along to a number of our public events as we are confident that she can engage with people of all ages, backgrounds and personality. It’s always a joy to watch people across generations whether it be bouncing, spinning, twirling or juggling - laughing and smiling lost in the enjoyment and being encouraged and enthralled by Penella.
Penella Bee worked alongside dancer/choreographer/producer Booma to create a unique dance show performance that mixed together dance, music, digital avatar technology and circus skills. The show was commissioned by Arttrain, a multi arts organisation based in Copenhagen and was very much about incorporating new ideas together to push forward the boundaries of dance, mixing together the different elements and art-forms to produce a 1 hour show that was then performed in Denmark at Kulture Klash festival in Nykobing Falster. The show took over 3 months to prepare and rehearse, it was also performed in Sunderland.