Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper


Wendy dances with wolves

It’s May Day in December at Kino-Teatr. There’s a wolf in the house, a flute in the workshop and What’s Going On spinning on the deck. Well what exactly is going on at the restored Norman Rd cinema? Simon Charterton explains.

The May in question is top DJ Wendy May, celebrating her first Christmas since moving to St Leonards with an Xmas Dance Party. For Wendy, a radio and television DJ in the 80s and 90s, it’s part of the ongoing revival of her club Wendy May’s Locomotion. Back in the day, 2000 people a week flocked to The Town & Country Club in North London’s Kentish Town on a Friday night to hear Wendy spin 60s soul, funk and rhythm & blues. It became known as London’s most unpretentious dance club, frequented by the likes of Madness, Elvis Costello and Paul Weller.

So what kind of atmosphere can we expect?
“Friendly for all ages”, says Wendy. “A great night to celebrate for work Xmas parties. Some soul, R&B, Motown, Phil Spector, maybe even Winter Wonderland.”

So how are you finding life down here and where have you been?
“I love living in St Leonards with so much art, music and culture within reach. Since The Tube & Capital Radio days, I’ve lived in Devon raising my son whilst continuing to DJ and help promote bands.”

And one bunch to benefit from Wendy’s move are her new house band The Loco Motions, a trio of local musicians who perform short live sets of 60s/70s funk instrumentals at her club to give Wendy an occasional break from the decks.

Meanwhile what’s all this about a wolf? Let Olga Mamonova, co-owner of the Baker Mamonova Gallery which houses the Kino-Teatr talk us through it:Peter_&_the_Wolf_animation

“Ever since we opened in July, the public response to our efforts to create an arts hub at the heart of St Leonards has been enthusiastic and supportive. Many of the visitors to the gallery may remember a few exhibitions by Russian/British artist Oleg Prokofiev, son of the famous Sergei Prokofiev who composed Peter and the Wolf. Like his father in music, Oleg was an innovator in art, and also actively worked on his father’s legacy. During the ’90s he was narrator when the symphony was performed at the Royal Albert Hall. As a gallery specialising in Russian and British art, we thought that showing the Oscar winning animated short film of Peter and the Wolf, alongside a concert of popular Russian classic pieces was a new way of celebrating Winter.”

“Written in the mid-1930s in Moscow, Peter and the Wolf was the first symphony for children as an introduction to a variety of musical instruments. In a multicultural and musical town like Hastings/St Leonards, the idea of screening it with live music and singers in a Winter Wonderland setting seems an inspirational and creative alternative to the traditional Christmas festivities.”

As part of the Winter Wonderland experience, there will be workshops for string and woodwind musicians – both beginners and advanced – with international flautist Wissam Boustany.

The Kino-Teatr will also be showing a full programme of family films in the run up to Christmas including Frozen, The Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Wendy May’s Locomotion Xmas Dance Party is on Friday 18 December from 7.30pm. £5.
The Winter Wonderland including Peter and the Wolf is on Saturday/Sunday 12/13 and 19/20 December at 7pm with an additional performance on Sunday 20 December at 2pm. Adults £14. Concessions £13. Under 16s £12. Recommended for age 8+.
String and woodwind workshops: Sunday 13 and Saturday 19 December.
Beginners 2pm. Advanced 4pm. £20 each.
Film, music and workshop details are available at the Kino-Teatr website.

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Posted 16:57 Friday, Dec 4, 2015 In: Music & Sound

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