Join us online to watch Phoenix Dance Theatre's Windrush

Phoenix Dance Theatre remembers the arrival of Caribbean migrants in the UK with a lively celebration of the rise of multicultural Britain

An uplifting dance production celebrating multiculturalism in the UK.




In celebration of Windrush Day, join us to watch Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Windrush: Movement of the People here on our website from 22 June to 22 July

Windrush: Movement of the People is the first contemporary dance work to explore the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush in 1948 – the first of many ships bringing Carribean migrants to the UK. This was the first time so many people from the Caribbean had come to live in the UK.

Phoenix Dance Theatre brings alive the stories of the people on board, known as the Windrush generation, who would radically change the cultural make-up of the UK.

The work is a moving piece of dance theatre that celebrates black history in the UK. Inspired by the iconic images of the migrants arriving at Tilbury Docks, the production starts with emotional farewells, family separations and excitement as passengers board the ship in Jamaica and catch their first glimpse of the docks in London. Subtle gestures, emotional duets and uncomfortable scenes capture the exclusion, daily racism and successes the newcomers face in their new home to a soundtrack of calypso, gospel, reggae and folk music.

"Windrush highlights both the struggles and the good times the Jamaican community experienced during those early years" Sharon Watson, Artistic Director for Phoenix Dance and choreographer of Windrush, explains. "It's an uplifting dance production that is not only enjoyable, but will shine a light on an important era of the history of black people here in the UK. There are as many narratives as there are individuals who have travelled across from the Caribbean"" 

Praised by critics and audiences since its premiere at Leeds Playhouse in 2018, you can watch the production online from 22 June on #WindrushDay until 22 July. The Guardian describes it as "infectiously upbeat" whilst the Yorkshire Post says, "Dance theatre doesn't come much better than this."

The film has been commissioned by Leeds 2023 and The Space, a commissioning and development organisation established by Arts Council England and the BBC. The stream is also part of Anyone//Anywhere, the British Council's global season celebrating the 30th anniversary of the web. 

"A moving piece of dance theatre that celebrates black history in the UK" 

windrush resized brian slaterPhoto: Brian Slater


At a glance:


What can I watch?

A performance of Windrush: Movement of the People by Phoenix Dance Theatre.

When can I watch it?

The stream launches at 12pm (BST) on Saturday 22 June 2019, it will be available to watch on our website until 5pm (BST) Monday 22 July 2019.


52 minutes.


The performance mostly contains dance without words. There is a short poem that will have a transcript available in English on our website.

Join the conversation on Twitter

Tweet #WindrushDay


Find out more:


> Watch Phoenix Dance Theatre in rehearsals

> Watch a trailer for Windrush: Movement of the People

> Explore the stories of the Windrush generation


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