Enriching lives, connecting communities

New Carnival Company run workshops in Bulgaria

2 Dancers use the lanterns in the Horov Sklad finale s

The New Carnival Company’s (NCC) carnival arts development worker Hannah Ray recently travelled to Plovdiv, Bulgaria to run a lantern-making workshop with local schoolchildren. This was for an event called Horov SKLAD, held in the historic SKLAD building, once a tobacco warehouse but recently transformed into an arts centre. Hannah was tasked with decorating three rooms in this vast industrial space. She ran several workshops in the local community cultural centre, Chitalishte Danov, to create a variety of giant lanterns with the help of local children, adults, and a translator.

Horov SKLAD took place on Sunday, December 1, and the audience were encouraged to move through the different rooms to watch seventy singers from three Plovdiv folk choirs singing. This experimental and atmospheric evening also incorporated dance, and was part of a series of choral performances aiming to transform the audience’s relationship with landscape and urban architecture. Hannah was given the opportunity to take part due to the relationship between New Carnival Company and Paul Ackerley from Creatives Across Sussex.

Hannah said, “”It was a privilege to work with the Creatives Across Sussex team to deliver this event. It was my first visit to Bulgaria, and I had a fantastic time with the people I met and worked with. On the night, the singing was powerful and moving, and it was a pleasure to be able to add to the atmosphere with our lanterns. At the last minute we decided the dancers should take the star lanterns down and use them as props for the finale, which really added dramatic effect. The event was very well received in Bulgaria which we were pleased about, and I’m hoping I can go back someday.”

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