Feature: London 2012

Monday 12 December 2011 by Carmel Smith

With London getting ready for its busiest summer ever, we’ve picked some of the not to be missed dance highlights to look out for! We’ll be adding more in the next few days and you’ll find lots more worth catching in our what’s on section – and for the low down on all things Big Dance, check the extensive listings on www.bigdance2012.com and on the London2012 Festival site

One of the highlights of the London 2012 Festival is sure to be Streb Action’s One Extraordinary Day – but we don’t know when or where it will be yet! One day in July will see 36 daredevil dancers jump, swoop & soar from seven landmark London buildings. New York based ‘action specialist’ (she prefers that, to ‘dancer’ ) Elizabeth Streb is the mastermind behind the event, which is organized by the Mayor of London, with London 2012.

Metamorphosis: Titian 2012
The Royal Ballet & the National Gallery
14, 16, 17 & 20 July
Seven choreographers Kim Brandstrup, Alastair Marriott, Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett, Jonathan Watkins, Christopher Wheeldon, three contemporary artists* Chris Olifili, Conrad Shawcross* and Mark Wallinger] and three composers [Mark-Anthony Turnage, Jonathan Dove and Nico Muhly.] joining forces in a unique cultural collaboration between The Royal Ballet and the National Gallery. They are creating an evening of three new works for The Royal Ballet, in response to three paintings by Titian: Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeon and Diana and Callisto. Some tickets are still available and the performance on Monday16 July will be shown on the BP Big Screens in Trafalgar Square, Canary Wharf and Woolwich in London – and at other locations around the UK.

The Big Street Dance, Trafalgar Square
Sat 14 July
A highlight event of the programme which aims to get 5 million of us dancing across the UK will be a large scale dance piece for Trafalgar Square, directed by Wayne McGregor – but choreographed by the hundreds of people taking part. Groups from across London have been working with members of McGregor’s company Random for the last few months – each making a five minute piece of dance.McGregor will be working his magic to bring all the sections together into a spectacular 40 minute work.

Southbank Centre
13 – 15 July
A weekend of youth dance at Southbank Centre includes the first performances of a new youth dance company – made up of young dancers from across the UK – in a new work made especially for them by Hofesh Shechter. Expect high energy performances and see if you can spot stars of the future!

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Fase: Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich
Tank 2, Tate Modern
18 – 20 July
One of the most influential choreographers working today, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, brings her seminal work, Fase: Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich to the new performance space Tank 2 at Tate Modern. The main performances on 19 & 20 July are ticketed, but there are also short free performances.

Southbank Centre & other venues
1 – 9 September
As the Paralympics challenge disable athletes to exceed their personal best, the London 2012 Festival’s Unlimited programme is about artists raising their game as well. Southbank Centre will present 29 major commissions celebrating arts and culture by deaf and disabled artists. Most will be shown at Southbank Centre, timed to coincide with the Paralympics later in the summer – but look out for Caroline Bowditch’s Leaving Limbo Landing in London Fields on Sat 7 July – and Candoco, Claire Cunningham and David Toole at Southbank Centre in September.

This is just the tip of the iceberg – plenty more to come on londondance.com – and for full listings for Big Dance week (7 – 16 July) visit: www.bigdance2012.com

Image: The Royal Ballet’s Metamorphosis -Titian. Photo: Chris Nash.

What’s On