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Inner Ground Dance

“Some of the most attention-grabbing and meaningful dance I have seen.”

Jackie Richards
Chair, Age Action Alliance
Older People and Creative Arts Working Group

About us

Inner Ground Dance Company is Cornwall’s contemporary dance company for mature dancers.

The Company is led by Co-Artistic Directors Jayne Devlin and Caroline Schanche.

Inner Ground Dance Company aims to stretch the boundaries of community dance for mature dancers by providing high calibre performance opportunities, regular company class and access to high-quality workshops with visiting professional dance companies.

We welcome people over 50 interested in dance and performance, including people who are new to dance and experienced dancers.

Inner Ground Dance Company was formed by Caroline and Jayne in 2012 during a year long Arts for Health Cornwall project called Moving Forward Looking Back. The project offered creative opportunities for older people throughout Cornwall and culminated in an exhibition and the company’s first performances at the Exchange Penzance. This project won the Arts & Health South West 2013 Health Award.

Get involved

Inner Ground runs on a project basis. The criteria for joining a project is to be aged over 50 and commit to the rehearsal and performance schedule. We are currently developing a new project and there will be an open callout to invite new dancers to join us. If you would like to get involved please contact us.

Our Dancers

Dancers from Inner Ground have the opportunity of being involved in workshops and other dance work, thanks to the excellent networking done by Jayne and Caroline, for example:

  • March, 2016 - Elixir creative development day at Sadler’s Wells in London, video
  • July, 2016 - Heather Walrond Company, Pursuit film shoot, Burgh Island, Devon video
  • June 2017 - Elixir Festival at Sadler’s Wells, including performance of Hacienda Paradise at the Lilian Baylis studio theatre at Sadler’s Wells, and a visit to the Rambert building on the South Bank
  • February 2018 - a member of Inner Ground performed as an extra in Viktor with Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch at Sadler’s Wells

Our Work

Since the launch of Inner Ground Dance Company in 2013 our dancers have participated in workshops with: Rambert, Yael Flexer, Panta Rei Danseteatre, Helen Parlor Dance, NDT2, Emily Dobson (Freefall Dance) and Joli Yyann, along with expertly delivered company classes with Jayne and Caroline. These workshops were hosted through regional partnership building with Hall for Cornwall, Carn to Cove, AMATA (Falmouth University) and Tremenheere Sculpture Garden. In the summer of 2015 Inner Ground were in residency at AMATA (Falmouth University).

Inner Ground’s vision of a fresh and inclusive approach to dance for the mature dancer, at any level of experience, is shared through our classes and workshops. All our workshops are promoted through our extended regional mature dancers' network.

Performance Pieces

Hacienda Paradise

In February 2015 Inner Ground coordinated a workshop for mature dancers with Rambert and Hall for Cornwall. The 25 places sold out within in a week and there were 10 further names on a reserve list. The success of this event led to the ‘Hacienda Paradise’ project with Rambert, culminating in Inner Ground’s performance at Hall for Cornwall on 24th March 2017; the company went on to perform this piece at Sadler’s Wells Elixir Festival in June 2017.

Inner Ground commissioned Rambert to make a curtain raiser, which was choreographed by Deborah Galloway in collaboration with Inner Ground company members. Created in response to Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances, the abstract dance work ‘Hacienda Paradise’ calls on the supernatural, animal gods and themes of human chaos when one woman’s desire to control leads to her own downfall. Inspired by a true story from the Galapagos Island of Floreana, this paradise sets the scene for mystery, murder and self-destruction. Rambert is Britain’s national dance company. It presents new and historic dance works to audiences in all parts of the country, performed by world-class dancers and accompanied by live music, alongside extensive outreach, education, participation and professional development work.

“The workshop gave me an opportunity to experience a world of dance from a perspective I never thought possible for someone like me. I found it inspiring and hugely motivating… I can't wait to dance more. It will rank as one of the best days of my life.” Rambert workshop participant, HfC 2015.


The Table

“I have been laid, rubbed clean, soiled and unsoiled…
Scratched…Scrubbed…Gouged, Gorged and Ignored
Break bread…drink wine
Come gather around to press and impress”

The Table a dance-theatre project, choreographed by Jayne Devlin. The piece delves into the minds, lives, relationships and emotions of a group of people that are summoned to gather around a very old, worn out and inherited family table. Work in progress was shared at the SpinDrift Dance Mergecology event at AMATA (Falmouth University) and performed at Pavilion Dance South West Joie de Vivre Platform October 2016


Line Trace Time

Line Trace Time is an interdisciplinary performance project, choreographed by Caroline Schanche.

Underlying the choreography are the questions, what do we bring to different spaces and locations? What are the traces we leave behind? How quickly do they disappear?

The structure of the performance is based around seven different constructivist sculptures by Naum Gabo, reinterpreted as movement scores. Just as sculpture is placed in, and framed by, different contexts, we place and frame these scores in different landscapes, exploring the interplay between the human figure, movement and context. How do figures in a landscape change the environment? How do different environments change the performers’ engagement with the movement scores? How does performance in the landscape engage audiences and change their experience of that place? What do we bring inside when performing in a theatre?

Line Trace Time has been performed at Tremenheere Sculpture Garden, Sterts Theatre Midsummer Dance Festival and SpinDrift Dance Mergecology at AMATA (Falmouth University).


I Am Myself Again

“Balancing on stone – skimming soft flat round such stone –
fitting for purpose – fitting small hands –
legs apart, to flatten the stone’s surface to parallel the sea surface
before letting fly.

To a cave of bones, calm bones tin stones
Full of memory, family, blood ties
To the place of the ancestors
To the place where I must finally return”

Inner Ground created their first performance piece I Am Myself Again, choreographed by Jayne Devlin, during a year of regular workshops and classes. The piece was performed at: Exchange Gallery, Penzance; Bristol City Hall (Arts & Health South West Award Ceremony) and Dartington Hall (“Dance in Time” UN Day of the Older Person).


Inner Ground Dance Company artistic directors ...

Jayne Devlin

“I am looking to engage each individual, and give each person a special moment that leaves them feeling validated, empowered and rejuvenated.”

Jayne graduated from De Montfort University in 1994 and has over 20 years’ experience working as a Community Dance Artist/Performer as well as facilitating and participating in choreographic and performance projects. In addition to her work with Inner Ground Dance Company Jayne has received choreographic commissions from The Works Dance and Theatre Cornwall, Cscape Dance Company and Dance South West.

Her most recent commission was for the Arts for Health Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly ‘The Home Service Project’ about which Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “This project is a great example of the impact of arts and culture on the wellbeing of individuals and its capacity for nurturing a sense of community.” For more information about The Home Service Project please follow the links below:

Jayne provides vibrant, fully inclusive and accessible dance sessions for the regional Memory Cafes (a social gathering for people living with Dementia and their families and carers), and also residential and day care providers for older people. She is Director of “Moments of breath and hand jive”, a specialist Dance and Performance Company that produces innovative, interactive and participatory dance and theatre experiences for older people in Residential Care Settings, Day Care and community venues.

Along with leading on Cornwall’s Dance for Parkinson’s initiative in partnership with Cornwall’s branch of Parkinson’s UK, and in collaboration with Cornwall’s Parkinson’s Community Support Hubs, Jayne works alongside many groups within Cornwall facilitating dance and movement sessions to promote a sense of wellbeing, to increase health and fitness and to maintain social and community connections.

Caroline Schanche

“I aim to bring pleasure and enjoyment, supporting wellbeing through dance, visual art and a sharing of creativity.”

Caroline trained in Theatre at Dartington College of Arts (81-85). This course was grounded in the philosophy that the arts should be embedded in community life and available to all. Inspired by Mary Faulkerson’s internationally renowned dance department, Caroline specialised in dance and trained in Contact Improvisation and Anatomical Release Technique.

After graduating she began working in London with marginalised groups such as adults with learning disabilities and elderly visually impaired people. Having experienced the positive impact of dance and movement with these groups she trained as a Dance Movement Therapist at Hertfordshire College of Art and Design (89-91).

Caroline specialises in working with older people at Memory Cafes, in day care and residential settings, running singing and dance sessions with her colleagues at Singing for Wellbeing. www.singingforwellbeing.co.uk. She runs a weekly Dance for Parkinsons class for the Parkinsons' Society West Cornwall branch.

She is the Creative Director of ‘Sundance’ a constituted community group which provides weekly dance classes for people over 50 in west Cornwall. www.sundancepenzance.co.uk

In 2012 Caroline was commissioned as lead artist for Arts for Health Cornwall’s Celebrating Age and Ambition project ‘Moving Forward Looking Back’ which won the Arts and Health South west 2013 Health Award for,” its thoughtful and innovative approach to working creatively with older people”.

She was commissioned by The Works Dance and Theatre Cornwall for ‘Golowie Donsya’ to create a performance with local school children and their families for the Olympic Torch Ceremony on Marazion beach.


Caroline is an associate lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School & Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry providing 2 Special Studies Units for fourth year medical students. These are ‘The Body in Residence’ an exploration of embodiment through movement improvisation and ‘The Art of Ageing’ which considers cultural attitudes to ageing as depicted through visual arts and literature.

Contact us

Email the company: contact@innerground.dance


Photos: Francesca Sevier, Belinda Whiting, Caroline Schanche.