The Turnpike CIC was a bold, independent not-for-profit arts project with community at its heart, based in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

This web archive, titled Could this be paradise? reflects on our 5 years in Leigh, highlighting the community voices and artists who have worked with us to shape our organisation.

We want to say a huge thank you to our Turnpike family; the team members, volunteers, artists, community members, peer organisations, funders and supporters who have invested their energy, creativity and ingenuity with us over the years.

Epic Luxe: Frances Disley & Fallen Angels Dance Theatre

From June 2019 to November 2020, Fallen Angels Dance Theatre worked with Liverpool-based visual artist Frances Disley to support and enhance their weekly group sessions at The Turnpike, in which they support people in recovery from addiction through the medium of dance. This project marked the beginning of our Activations programme.

Using colour, pattern, props and play, the artist co-choreographed new work with the group and their leader Paul Bayes Kitcher, to create a sensory exploration of their lived experiences. In March 2020, the evolving work took an interesting shift in its timeline when Covid-19 restrictions meant that the dancers could no longer meet. The piece incorporates the significant impact of lockdown on the dancers, who continued to share their experiences and challenges digitally with Frances Disley, and each other, throughout this period. When lockdown restrictions were temporarily eased in September 2020, the group re-convened at The Turnpike, completing the work which had now adapted to social distancing measures, restrictions on physical connection and the sharing of props.

“It’s a sculptural, painterly work where the dancers activate and shift the piece constantly via their movement and interaction with the objects involved. Central to the work is a large painted dancefloor, which was initially intended to act as a score for the performance, but has become a document to how the work has evolved and adapted in response to circumstance and the needs of the dancers.”
Frances Disley, Artist
The final piece, Epic Luxe, and an accompanying behind the scenes documentary were premiered digitally at The People's Powerhouse Convention in November 2020.
"The process of making Epic Luxe is testament to what we're most interested in at The Turnpike: the exchange of ideas and a collective re-imagining of a sustainable and positive future. Long-term embedded projects such as this is an example of exploring and overcoming adversity through genuine creative partnerships. Aside from everything else that it is, Epic Luxe is a document of our time; a testament to care, beauty and solidarity in the face of uncertainty.”
Helen Stalker, Director of The Turnpike CIC