Dare Projects, Amanda Mortlock, and the beginnings of the Love Project
A graduate of De Montfort University, Amanda J. Mortlock spent six years travelling and performing in Europe with dance and theatre companies. Following an injury she took on a role as Conference Coordinator for the International Performance Network (a graduate initiative) and Project Administrator for a Commissioning programme at Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster University, which included commissions by Nigel Charnock, Russell Maliphant and Forced Entertainment. She started working in Cumbria in 1998 and moved to live and work full-time in Barrow in 2002.
In 2002 Amanda set up Dance Resource Ltd., a not for profit company to further develop the work undertaken in dance development with Barrow Borough Council and increase participatory dance activity across the County. The company was referred to as DaRe by its participants and this led to the renaming of the company DARE PROJECTS, trading as DARE DANCE in 2009. At this point the company had led 2400 workshops, and facilitated 163 community performances for 15,000 participants led by Dance Artists from around the World.
The company continues to develop Community Dance Projects in its purpose-built Dance Studio in Barrow in Furness and now aims to extend the reach and range of the company’s work to include other Artforms.
In 2009 Amanda wrote ‘A Love Calendar’ and Love Recipes for 1: Conjuring a lover; 2: Finding a lover; and 3: Resisting a lover.
In 2013 Amanda was commissioned by Arts Council: NW to develop ‘A Love Calendar ’ into a dance film. The Love Calendar is a journey through Love in a year, in a lifetime;and reflects on the archetypes of dreamer, conjurer, archer.
During this time Amanda had many conversations about Love with men and women of all ages and realized that these stories told so much about the people and the political climate they were living in. She asked the question ‘what has changed and what hasn’t changed for women in Barrow in relation to the choices they make and have made about Love? ‘ This question evolved into Barrow Love Project.
The idea of a sacred space where women could gather was inspired by The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Amanda began to ponder on how she loved the stories that women share together, in particular stories of first love and she thought how it would be great to have a project where women could share their love stories with other women and invest in the traditions of passing on wisdom and advice to younger women.
Amanda met with Moonmanmedia, Harriet Fraser, Hannah Fox, The Ghyll Singers and Octopus Collective to devise a project which would bring these questions to the surface and take us on a journey to finding some of the answers.