Pleased as punch

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ONE of the world’s most respected dance companies sets out to find new talent in Parr later this year – as part of the Cultural Olympiad programme.

Punchline is an exciting new project that combines boxing with music, dance and film to create a multimedia ‘performance’ in which personal and social struggles are taken into the ring.

Participants aged 15 to 21 are fully involved in the creative process - training in boxing, creating film, writing lyrics, and choreographing dance alongside leading professionals.

They will work with artistic director Villmore James, founder of Phoenix Dance, one of the world’s most respected dance companies, to create a 15-20 minute spectacle.

The project will run from July until September and see participants from Parr creating their own shows alongside young people from Liverpool and Halton. It culminates in a final performance as part of the North West’s closing celebration for London 2012 at the prestigious Preston Guild.

As well as improving their health and wellbeing, the project gives young people access to creative training.

Dave Parry, head of public affairs for St Helens Council, said: “This fantastic project shows the Olympics are about much more than sport – and gives the young people of Parr the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills on a global stage.”

The project is funded by The Arts Council with additional funding from re:new.

It’s being co-ordinated in St Helens by the council in partnership with the Wildcard Boxing Club and re:new.

The first session takes place on Saturday, June 30 (10am to 1pm) at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Parr.

For further information on the project – or to sign up to be involved – contact Owen Hutchings on 01744 674401 or email