Oxford Mini plant inspires some real robotic dance moves

The Oxford Times: The dancers meet some of the 1,000 robots at the Mini plant in Cowley The dancers meet some of the 1,000 robots at the Mini plant in Cowley

MOTORING robots are usually in the minds of car enthusiasts and designers.

But now the 1,000 robots from Oxford’s Mini Plant have been used to inspire movements of a different dimension.

Youngsters from the Pegasus Theatre-based dance group visited the production line to help them think up moves and routines for a special performance at this year’s Cowley Road carnival.

And the dance will be choreographed by 27-year-old Emma-Jane Greig from East Oxford.

The former Pegasus Youth Theatre member and professional dancer said: “I don’t know who was more excited about seeing the robots, myself or the 20 young people taking part. It was like an episode of Star Wars.

“This is a fantastic project to be involved in as a choreographer, tutor and dancer. The young people are incredibly excited about being a part of this project and dancing alongside Body Politic on stage at this year’s Cowley Road Carnival.”

The group of dancers visited the factory’s new bodyshop to look at the 1,000 high-tech manufacturing robots.

The youngsters aged 11 to 15 will perform with dancers from Greig’s company Body Politic on the Manzil Garden stage at Cowley Road Carnival.

Ms Greig added: “We are working together with Mini and the Cowley Road Carnival to make a dance that is inspired by the plant. It is nice that the young people are inspired by the movement of the robots.”

The street dance is a new challenge for the youngsters, who were pleased to have the chance to visit the factory.

Esme Fitzgibbon, 12, said: “Visiting the plant was great.”

The Cheney School pupil from East Oxford added: “It was really cool to be surrounded by so many robots.”

They will preview their routine at a platform event at Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre Jamboree from Thursday, July 3 to Saturday, July 5. The dance will then be performed at the Cowley Road Carnival on Sunday, July 6.

The theme is Oxford Faces and there will be a procession through the streets led by 60 youngsters who will carry art sculptures, perform circus skills and dance.

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