Chichester Festival of Music, Dance & Speech - success despite lockdown

Chichester Festival of Music, Dance & Speech is looking back on a highly successful virtual festival.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 10:05 am
Jenie Pressdee
Jenie Pressdee

Chairman Jenie Pressdee said it “was a resounding success despite all the misgivings we had initially.

“This was our 66th festival and it was certainly not one we envisaged but with all the technology available we managed video-link sessions via Zoom for each section which worked smoothly and gave our performers a chance to present their skills in all competitive classes other than group performances – due to government restrictions.

“This was very much appreciated by all our solo performers and entries were received from far and wide outside our immediate area. Our nationally-recognised British International Federation adjudicators adjusted to our online festival and viewed the videos beforehand to mark performances and then gave a live adjudication on the actual day.

“Their experience echoed the high quality of performances this year.

“And although numbers were lower than usual we still enjoyed a very successful festival.

“Despite the limitations caused by the Covid pandemic many participants commented on how grateful they were to have had something to work towards and be involved in at such a difficult time of isolation.”

Jenie added: “The latest news is that the dance section was recognised and nominated to become part of the prestigious All England Dance which is a non-profit organisation founded in 1923 whose objective is to advance the appreciation, the performance and practice of the art of dance.

“Its main purpose is educational by providing an opportunity for good amateur dancers to receive adjudication from eminent professionals and gain experience and knowledge.

“All England Dance aims to raise the national standard of amateur performance in theatre dance; to provide a forum for dance education and the professional theatre; and to be a means by which good dancers may become more widely known and by which some may start their careers as professional artists.

“Therefore we are very proud to announce that the dance section of our Festival 2022 to be held from Sunday, February 20-Thursday, February 24 at the Bishop Luffa School in Chichester will be our first as members of the All England Dance Festival.

“We would like to invite dancers from far and wide to participate in this friendly, inclusive festival for 2022 and to be a part of the exciting, inaugural All England Dance year.

“The syllabus for CMFDS 2022 will be available online at from September 2021 and we eagerly await entries for all other classes which include singing, speech & drama, musical theatre, guitars, choirs, orchestra, bands, brass, piano, recorders, woodwind and strings.

“There are plenty of awards and medals awaiting presentation!”