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 Post subject: International Dance Festival Birmingham (UK)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 712
Location: Rugby, UK / Taipei
Birmingham (UK) has announced the inaugural International Dance Festival Birmingham. A joint venture between DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome, the month-long Festival will take place across the city between 28 April and 24 May 2008.

The following choreogarphers and compaines will be appearing:

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

The Kirov Ballet from Russia

National Ballet of China

Australian choreographer Garry Stewart (Artistic Director, Australian Dance Theatre), International Artist in Residence for the Festival

Saburo Teshigawara (Japan)

Aracaladanza (Spain)

Cas Public (Québec)

Akram Khan

Robyn Orlin (South Africa)

Rosie Kay

Havana Rakatan (Cuba)


A Family Weekend featuring outstanding children's work by companies from Spain and Canada, including a dance show for parents and babies under 2 years, and a piece for teenagers

Three international choreographers - including a well-known Bollywood artist - will be commissioned to create work with young people, leading to a colourful Youth Dance event at Town Hall, Birmingham

The festival will culminate in a fantastic Salsa at Sunset participatory event at The Mailbox, a finale bringing together people from across Birmingham in a huge synchronised salsa ensemble

There will be an array of professional development opportunities for dance artists, including master classes, workshops, seminars and debates

A myriad of classes and participatory events will encourage people to take part in dance

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:46 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 712
Location: Rugby, UK / Taipei
A little more background...

Stuart Griffiths, director of the Birmingham Hippodrome has slowly been expanding the dance programming at the theatre for some time. Now, with the Dancexchange thw theatre has launched the first International Dance Festival Birmingham with the aim of securing the city's position as an international dance capital.

The month long festival will encompass all styles of dance and, as the press release says, "express the youthful, diverse and energetic spirit of Birmingham." Alongside the theatre programme there will be some large-scale participatory and site-specific performances

A number of venues will be used from the The Birmingham REP and Town Hall, to Birmingham Hippodrome to the IKON Gallery’s Eastside. The Festival will also take over outdoor locations in the City Centre and shop windows in the retail heart of the City.

David Massingham, Artistic Director of DanceXchange and Festival Co-Director comments: “In great cities all around the world, I see arts festivals creating passion and energy, adding spirit and excitement, galvanising local communities, celebrating identities. Birmingham's new International Dance Festival is about bringing one of the most human and accessible artforms into our everyday lives.”

Research carried out in 2006 determined that the West Midlands has a growing audience for dance. As in the rest of the UK, the region has recently seen increasing audiences for both contemporary dance and ballet, but here the figures are pretty impressive. Between 2002/03 and 2005/06, dance attendance in the West Midlands grew by 12.7%. Local audiences are also younger and more ethnically diverse than almost any other artform - something I can verify from my own experience.

Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome and Festival Co-Director is confident that the festival will secure Birmingham’s position as unthreatened dance capital of the UK: “This truly will be a festival with an international reach. We’ve managed to secure the involvement of some of the world’s most prominent dance companies and the programme looks set to help establish Birmingham as a major cultural player within the UK, and across the world, ” he said.

This really is a truly impressive festival and a great line-up of companies. I happen to think the Hippodrome is the best theatre in the UK for watching dance. Griffiths and Massingham have done great things promoting and expanding the range of dance available in the region already. Let's hope this new venture gets all the support it deserves.

Kirov rep and dates are already in the Kirov/Maryinsky forum. Others will be posted here as soon as I have them. I will also advise when booking is open.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 712
Location: Rugby, UK / Taipei
Large company programme as follows:

29 & 30 April - Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. "Moon Water". Birmingham Hippodrome.

1-3 May - Ballet Ratakan (Cuba), "Havana Ratakan". Birmingham Hippodrome.

13-14 May - Akram Khan Company and National Ballet of China, "bahok". Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

16-17 May - Robyn Orlin and City Theatre and Dance Group (South Africa), "We must eat our suckers with the wrappers on". Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

20-24 May - Kirov Ballet. "Jewels" (20-21 May), Gala Programme including Chopiniana (Les Sylphides), Kingdom of the Shades from La Bayadere, and Le Spectre de la Rose (22 May), Don Quixote (23-24 May). Birmingham Hippodrome.


Dancing in the Streets (working title) - Hofesh Schecter Dance Company and 2FaCeD DaNcE Company from Hereford join in a day of dance in Victoria Square. This is followed by a mammoth youth dance event at the Town Hall, and a Bolywood finale.

Saburo Teshigawara and Karas Company (Japan) at Ikon Eastside in a performance that involves dancers sweeping across broken glass.

A triple bill from Bare Bones, the Dancexchange's own resident company, with works by Garry Stewart (Australia), Rui Horta (Portugal) and Sarah Mitchelson (USA).

South Asian dance from SAMPAD at the Town Hall with works by Nahid Siddiqui (Katak) and Malavika Sarukkai (Baharata Natyam).

A family weekend at the Dancexcgange, including a performance by Quebec-based Cas Public.

BBoy competition weekend.

A festival finale, "Salsa at Sunset" at The Mailbox.

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