Feature: Dance at Latitude Festival 2015

Wednesday 22 July 2015 by Lise Smith

Ballets C de la B performer Mélanie Lomoff in 'Three Studies of Flesh'. Waterfront Stage, Latitude Festival 2015. Photo: Lise Smith

Lise Smith was our reporter in the flowers and wellies at Latitude Festival last weekend….

Three days of sunshine brought huge and happy crowds to the Waterfront Stage at Latitude Festival 2015. Company Chameleon kicked off the action at lunchtime on Friday with Beauty of the Beast , followed by the explosive combination of flamenco and streetdance hammered onto the stage by the seven male dancers performing Rojas y Rodriguez’s Titanium. East London Dance kept the energy pumping into the evening with the well received pure dance showcase Club Cultures, guiding a lively audience in the Theatre Arena through dancefloor styles from the early 1960s to the present day.

Saturday’s performances took a more contemplative turn, with Melanie Lomoff’s reflective contemporary ballet solo Three Studies of Flesh drawing a curious crowd in the early afternoon. Rambert took a large and appreciative audience back to the 1960s with their popular piece Rooster, based on the music of the Rolling Stones. After the performance we talked with Rambert’s Hannah Rudd & Miguel Altunaga

Sunday was devoted to youth dance, with four of the inaugural BBC Young Dancer finalists dancing up a storm on the lakeside; kathak dancer Vidya Patel was joined by contemporary finalist (and overall winner) Connor Scott and hip-hop dancers Kieran Lai and Harry Barnes and their duet partners. The dance programme closed with NYDC’s current touring work, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Frame[d], which saw a remarkable 38 young dancers and three large metal boxes take to the Waterfront Stage. We talked to Vidya, Connor, Molly and Louise…

“It’s all about getting new audiences to dance, catching a public that I think is really curious and open,” says Eva Martinez, Artistic Programmer at Sadler’s Wells, who produced most of the dance programme for the Waterfront Stage. “The whole Latitude experience is very much about people who want to come and be inspired – people are incredibly attentive and really want to stay for the programme. Seeing dance in the open air on the Waterfront Stage is a really different experience for people, and dance has developed a loyal audience here.”

Take a look at Lise’s gallery below for more!

Main photo: Ballets C de la B performer Mélanie Lomoff in Three Studies of Flesh on the Waterfront Stage

Lise Smith is a dance manager and teacher who writes about dance for many publications, including Londonist & Arts Professional. Find her on Twitter: @lisekit

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