To The Dancers, a documentary about Newcastle DIY venue Cobalt studios, is out now

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A new documentary about Newcastle’s DIY venue Cobalt Studios, To The Dancers, is out now.

The film is is available for rental, and will also be screening at Beeston Film Festival on April 27.

Directed by Susie Davies, the press release reveals that To The Dancers explores “the universal power of music and dance to protect and transform communities” through the story of Cobalt Studios, where the “local queer scene and its queens party till late” and rising stars “grace the stage”.

The 24-minute film details the struggle of independent venues against a backdrop of Brexit, rising costs and gentrification, while celebrating Cobalt Studios as a unique venue within this space with an “unrivalled hospitality and enchanting atmosphere”.

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Davies previously directed a documentary about Newcastle’s ’90s free party scene titled The Kick, The Snare, The Hat & A Clap which tells the story of how ravers turned post-industrial spaces into party havens.

According to the director in a statement sent to Mixmag:To The Dancers is a story about one small music venue in my city, but relates to music scenes worldwide”.

Shedding light on the founders’ wavering dedication to the venue, Mark, Kate and son Jacob who work 70-hour weeks, the documentary interviews, punters, performers and organisers diving into “the chaotic, colourful world of Cobalt.”

Read this next: “DJs are surprised when they visit”: Why Newcastle’s DIY clubbing scene is thriving

“Against a backdrop of the deindustrialised, the gentrified and the unaffordable, artists find a way to take space, to celebrate, to challenge and make noise,” adds Davies.

Described in the trailer as a “rare gem” of a venue, Cobalt Studios has a history as a creative studio dating back to 1999 before first taking form as a DIY space in 2015.

Since then the non-profit, multifaceted space has played host to artists of all kinds, music, exhibitions, workshops and more.

In an article about Newcastle’s thriving DIY scene, Kate Hodgkinson, who co-runs Cobalt Studios told Mixmag, “Newcastle City Council often doesn’t understand the cultural value of the night-time economy here… we need them to understand the value of DIY venues”.

Check out the trailer for To The Dancers below, and rent the full film here.

For more information about the documentary, click here.

Belle Richardson is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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