Passage for Par | Report
Passage for Par | Report
Sunday, 24th June 2018

Over three days, 22 - 24 June, the Passage for Par performances took place on Par Sands. An evening performance on the Friday and Saturday followed by a morning performance on the Sunday.

The performances were commissioned as part of Groundwork (, a season of exhibitions and events presented in special places in Cornwall, May to September 2018. Produced in partnership with Dance Republic 2 and Artsadmin, with support from Falmouth University's Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA).

At the turn of the tide thirty women began their passage across Par Sands. The performance was best viewed from a distance as the thirty women moved rhythmically across the tidal landscape from the Eastern end to the Western end of the sands tracing meandering pathways through the wet sand, showing movement and shape as a collective form against the backdrop of St Austell Bay.

The cast of thirty women - selected from Cornwall, the UK and abroad - had worked intensively over the last two weeks on the beach to discover, adapt and refine the work as it had emerged. Their steps had been influenced in part by the traditional dances of Brittany and Cornwall. Each day they experienced radically different conditions and noticed new features of the site and of the practice of moving together as a collective form.

The acclaimed choreographer, Rosemary Lee, visited many of Cornwall's most beautiful beaches before deciding to work on Par Sands. She had chosen Par because of its dramatic contrasts - between the industry of Par Docks and the green slopes of Gribbin Head - and because of the exceptional beauty of the tidal expanse, with its glittering deposits of quartz and mica.

She was also intrigued by the biodiversity of the area. The china clay industry has had a visible impact on the landscape around St Austell and has dramatically altered the flora and fauna of the area. The flora of the port and beach at Par has also been affected by marine traffic introducing species from ports around the world. A high proportion of these species were able to seed and establish themselves in the various habitats the beach provides; in total 878 flowering plant species have been recorded.

Whilst the performances of Passage for Par will leave no physical trace on the landscape, Rosemary Lee hopes that its presence will linger in the memory and become part of the history of this special place.



Cornwall Council Park Leisure Par Sands Friends of Par Beach are supported by
PL24 Community Association, Tesco,
Par Sands Coastal Holiday Park,
Cornwall Council Community Grant
Tesco PL24 Community Association