Our vision is for families to come together in a moving, playful, and interactive installation, where space is given for parents to connect with their children and each other. Acknowledging the isolation faced by parents in the early phase of parenthood, Kindred offers warm recognition to parents of the challenges they are facing which we hope could contribute to a heightened feeling of personal value, unlocking parents’ confidence in themselves, and increasing happiness, empathy and compassion for their children. Kindred dares to suggest that child led activity must also be parent centred, as the health of the child is inextricably linked to the health of the parents.

We’re interested in compassionate connection between people, and with ourselves, and how dance could contribute to greater self awareness, leading to greater care for ourselves and others. Kindred, is the latest in a series of multidisciplinary explorations directed by Danielle Jones, with dancers, musicians, visual artists, film and photography. This work explores the intersection between improvised, responsive, playful dance practice with young people under 5, co-creation which invites parents into a role as artists not as conduit to their child’s experience, and holds space for both child and parent to be heard and find validation.

Our enquiry began in 2023, with kind support from The North Wall, Oxford City Council, and Dancin’ Oxford. We are interested in how dancing together with our children can facilitate exploration, expression, and sharing of the things that matter to us most. We have danced with and talked to over 100 families of parents, children, and grandparents to develop a live, interactive, dance installation, unlocking dialogue and strengthening family bonds. For 2024, Kindred will continue to develop in conversation with families in Oxford, through our new programme of deeply engaging dance and arts activity: ELKIN CLUB. We invite you to join us throughout the spring and summer to come together in a joyful process of connecting with your child in a safe, welcoming and co-creative environment. 

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“In my own experience on becoming a parent, I have come to recognise the huge unravelling that has taken place in my identity and ways of connecting with myself. Identities are not fixed, we are multitudes, but nothing will transform your perspective on your place in the world and your value, more than the shift that takes place when you become a parent.”