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Art and science collide in a creative collaboration between The London Cancer Hub and the Sutton community

An inspirational film featuring local dance groups, members of the Sutton community and scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, premiered this month as part of a festival celebrating arts, science and culture in Sutton.

We Dance for Life features creative depictions of cancer science using choreographed dance and movement, inspired by some of the cutting-edge research taking place at The London Cancer Hub.

The film was directed by Ian Sciacaluga and commissioned by the London Borough of Sutton for Sutton STEAMs Ahead, an exploration of science and art through local culture. The film’s premiere formed the centrepiece of a festival to launch a year of exciting and vibrant cultural and science-related activities and events in Sutton.

You can watch the film on YouTube here.

The London Cancer Hub is a partnership led by The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Borough of Sutton.

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Sutton STEAMs Ahead

The premiere of We Dance for Life took place at The Attic on Sutton High Street, timed to coincide with World Cancer Day and alongside a range of activities to celebrate the launch of Sutton STEAMs Ahead.

STEAM is an acronym of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. An evolution of STEM – a term often used to promote careers and education in the more scientific subjects – it’s being used by Sutton STEAMs Ahead to celebrate how art and culture can help explore science.

South London music artist and Rap Game UK winner Big Jest attended the premiere event, which also included a Q&A discussion involving the ICR’s Professor Chris Bakal, a display of beautiful competition-winning science images, and a dance demonstration from Sutton Community Dance.

Young families were encouraged to join scientific storytelling sessions and adults also enjoyed some delicious scientific alcohol-free ‘mocktails’.

Cultural Impact award

The creative film is the first major attraction of the Sutton STEAMS Ahead programme, supported by a Cultural Impact Award from The Mayor of London.

The year-long calendar of cultural activity, led by Sutton Council, aims to engage communities and visitors in an explosion of creativity, whilst inspiring and nurturing future scientists and artists alike.

Local groups who feature in We Dance for Life include the African Caribbean Heritage Association, Groove Withing Marcia, The Garwood Foundation and NESCOT College and South Sutton Ballet School.

Locations from across Sutton to feature in the film include The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)’s laboratories – and the film features cameos from ICR researchers and staff including Dr Rachel Talbot, Dr Aiden Doyle, Hira Ale and Dr Kathy Tomlin.

The ICR’s Public Engagement Manager, Dr Mariana Campos, said:

“We were delighted to support the launch of the London Borough of Sutton’s fantastic year-long celebration of science, arts and culture through this inspiring film, which features our researchers alongside Sutton dance groups and members of the local communities across the borough.

“It was truly inspiring to see such a diverse group working together on producing We Dance for Life and also celebrating its release on World Cancer Day and we’re looking forward to more exciting, collaborative projects involving The London Cancer Hub as the year goes on.”


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