Toads cash spawns artwork set to get dancers hopping

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A DANCE drama which challenges obsessions with the “body beautiful” could be heading to fitness suites around the region after performers secured funding from the latest round of the Larkin25 Arts Awards.

Sian Myers and Fenella Ryan, who have a reputation for challenging audiences with dynamic dance productions based on social issues like binge drinking and online dating, say their piece is a comment on Western culture’s fixation with the “perfect body” and how it is achieved within the protected walls of gyms and slimming clubs.

Also recognised by the awards is a project by Hull-based Canadian artist Alison Slack to link sounds and locations around the city - which is shortlisted for City of Culture 2017 - and to highlight changes dating back to the 19th century.

Alison said: “I believe that the world we live in contains an aural landscape that helps us shape what we see. I feel honoured to be recognised by the Larkin25 Awards. It’s not something I expected and it will help me develop the project in a way that wouldn’t be possible without the funding.”

The awards are funded from the auction of 40 fibreglass toads which appeared in Hull as part of events marking the 25th anniversary of the death of the poet Philip Larkin in 2010.

As well as a share of a £5,000 prize, the award-winners will receive mentoring.

Awards committee chair Elaine Burke said: “Once again the awards were over-subscribed which shows that they are gaining momentum, and once again we have been really impressed with the high standard of applications which made it very difficult to select the winners.”