Directed by Natasha Gilmore, St Albert’s Primary School | Country of Origin: United Kingdom | Runtime: 9:06 | Short Film
Hoods Off was created and filmed by Glasgow based choreographer Natasha Gilmore and the pupils from St Albert’s Primary School. The children voice their lived experiences of racism and islamophobia, describing moments in their lives where they have been judged for what they are, not who they are.
Shot entirely on iphones, Hoods Off plays with the children’s visibility and invisibility as well as the image and stigma attached to the groups of hooded pre-teens. The hooded figures can be stripped of their identity, with backs turned we can no longer judge them to be male /female, back /white, hijab/turban wearers. They are able to then present themselves to the audience and stand proudly in their specific identity and connections.
Hoods Off is funded by the Scottish Government’s Youth Arts Fund through Creative Scotland with support from Youth Music Initiative and Time to Shine. The Youth Arts Fund ensures creative opportunities for children and young people continue to exist across Scotland despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Natasha Gilmore is the founder and Artistic Director of Barrowland Ballet, one of Scotland’s most exciting and successful contemporary dance companies.
An internationally respected choreographer for dance theatre and film, Natasha’s work has toured to six continents. In 2017, Natasha Gilmore was the UK nomination for the ASSITEJ Award for Excellence for her work for young audiences including Little Red (7+), Whiteout (12+) Tiger Tale (7+) and Poggle (6 months – 4 years).
Natasha is passionate about working inter-generationally and with untrained dancers, seeing different ages and bodies onstage is central to her practice. In 2016 Natasha established an intergenerational company, Wolf Pack, which subsequently won the Most Innovative Project at the 2019 ‘Generations Working Together’ National awards.
Natasha has been recognised for her developing practice in contemporary dance work with and for neuro-diverse audiences and children with complex needs. Her production Playful Tiger, for young people with severe complex needs, was met with critical acclaim performing across the world, including Edinburgh’s International Children’s Festival; ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering, Norway; Baboro Festival, Ireland; and Takeoff Festival, England. Recognised as a world-leader in this field, she has delivered presentations on creating work with and for this audience at high profile seminars including ASSITEJ Japan, IPAY USA and Seminar Dance Hus Norway.
Her recent video installation Family Portrait won The Bobby award for the ‘Best of the Fest’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Her dance films Strings, Wolf, Loose Leaf Tea and Whiteout have screened at various prestigious film festivals including Screen.dance Scotland; Aesthetica; and Sans Souci Dance Festival with Whiteout becoming an award winner at San Francisco Indie Short Festival 2021.
As a dancer, Natasha trained at Laban and has worked with Rose’s Thoughts, Protein Dance and Jasmin Vardimon, before moving to Glasgow to be the Artist in Residence at Dance House