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My Dear Old Cov – A blog by Luka Owen

29 June 2016

I’m a born and bred Coventry girl. Even after moving to the big smoke to follow my dreams of becoming a performer, I found myself landed back here, in dear old Cov.  Initially I felt that coming home was the end of a very short lived career, but how wrong I could be.

I see Coventry in a very magical ‘Harry Potter’ sort of way. (Bare with me here).  There are muggles everywhere. I don’t need to elaborate on this. In fact you find muggles in every city wherever you go. However in Coventry, you’ll also find those magical folk.  An underground hub of creatives and dreamers. My kind of people.

In the last 4 years whilst working as a free lance artist in Coventry, I’ve had the pleasure of working  with some truly inspirational people. These are the people who care about Coventry and bring out the best in it. All the work I have done, seems to have one beautiful outcome. From performing to large audiences in the city centre, to working on more intimate projects with people from all different walks of life.  I’m proud that Coventry still understands the importance of the arts. Of how inclusive it can be.

One project I worked on this summer will stay with me forever. It was a performance as part of the festival of imagineers. A FREE event in the city centre created by Imagineers Productions. The show was called Liberty, a story of human endeavour, fortitude, resolution and new beginings. It was created with a group of young people along with professional artists. This show was timely and allowed people to connect with what is going on in the world right now. So relevant in a city like Coventry with its large ethnic community. That performance spoke to so many people in different ways. From people crying out with passion in agreement with the performers or simply captivating transient shoppers. It was performed on the street for everyone to enjoy. Young or old. Rich or poor. It was about and for the people, and that’s why I think it was so powerful. The other very poignant part of this project was watching our young performers grow. They became so passionately involved with the story we were telling. Young people get a lot of flack and I think that’s very often unfair. They just need to be inspired! Kathi Leahy (the director of Liberty) is living proof of this. Our performers became interested in current world events, passionate about looking for a resolution and simply sending a message for those who can’t. Liberty was a success  because they believed in their story whole heartedly.These young people are the future and this one project has put a fire in their belly to help create a more tolerant and peaceful world. I can’t think of anything more uplifting and inspiring.

That’s the thing about Coventry. It’s been bombed and rebuilt. It’s a city full of many different ethnicities. It’s a city that welcomes everyone.  I couldn’t think of a more deserving city to win the award on its community spirit and creative involvement.

Biography

Luka is a dancer and performer.

She spends her time working with Motionhouse, Imagineer productions and Highly Sprung.

When she’s not jumping around for a living, she is usually found handstanding around the city.

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