News: Big Dance round up

Friday 6 July 2012 by Carmel Smith

Big Dance 2012 Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Arlene Phillips, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and a cast of hundreds from across the UK got the Big Dance ball moving at St Pancras International Station last week – now the programme rolls out across London and the UK. In London the programme is being led by five hub organisations – East London Dance, Greenwich Dance, Siobhan Davies Dance, English National Ballet and Sadler’s Wells – who have laid on everything from large scale open air events to dance in libraries, talks, workshops, classes and taster sessions. There are full listings of the hundreds of events taking place across London – many of them free – on

Here’s our pick of just a few of the many things we want to catch, still to come…

Thursday 12 – Friday 13 July, 6.15pm
Lilian Baylis Studio, Islington, EC1R 4TN
Inspired by Bourne’s thrilling dance drama Play Without Words, presented at Sadler’s Wells from 12 July – 5 August, a cast of more than 40 dancers, encompassing all ages and levels of experience, present a stunning performance of original choreography drawing on the themes and choreography from the show, to the music of jazz musician Artie Shaw. Created by Re:Bourne.

A place to live when we are old
Monday 9 –Sunday 15 July
Monday–Saturday, 12 noon–7 pm and Sunday 12 noon-4 pm
Bishops, Square, Spitalfields, London E1
An inter-generational, dance-based piece by Argentinian artist Ana Gallardo in collaboration Ramiro Gallardo and Mario Gomez Casas. Bringing people of all ages together through dance, this week-long event at Bishops Square, in the heart of London’s Spitalfields, sees three mature, amateur dancers from Mexico offering demonstrations and lessons of danzón, a typical Mexican dance, to members of the public.

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company TooMortal
Thursday 12 July at 4.00 & 5.00pm
Friday 13 July at 12.30, 1.30, 5.00 & 6.00pm
Saturday 14 July at 1.00, 2.00, 3.00 & 4.00pm
St Pancras Church, Euston Road, NW1 2BA
FREE but reservation essential
Inspired by their dramatic architecture, Jeyasingh’s striking choreography contrasts and complements the rhythms and spaces of these historic buildings. Exploring notions of the church as a sanctuary, the work offers an intimate, reflective respite to the busy hubbub of the streets outside.

Like a Fish Out of Water
Thursday 12 July-Saturday 14 July (inclusive)
40 minute performances at timed intervals
10.30am (last admissions 12.50pm) and 3.00pm (last admissions 5.20pm)
Hampton Pool, Richmond Upon Thames
This exciting new event takes audiences on a magical journey around two of London’s beautiful lidos featuring dancers, actors, stunning designs and cinematic soundscape.

Four Corners
Friday 13 July, 6.30pm. Saturday 14 July, 6pm
Millennium Bridge (north side) starting point, Festival Gardens, Paternoster Square, St Paul’s Cathedral west steps, City of London, EC4
New contemporary dance presented by the City of London Festival explores historic central London as an exciting open-air stage. Celebrating four corners of the world with a team of choreographers – Nina Rajarani, Bawren Tavaziva, Ponciano Almeida and Lea Anderson – working with 60 dancers specially selected from Laban, Central School of Ballet, London Contemporary Dance School and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and presented in four outdoor City locations from the Millennium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Magpie Dance & Re:Bourne, The Ed Effect
Friday 13 July, 7.45pm
Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Inclusive dance company Magpie Dance will be presenting a dynamic new work created in collaboration with artists from Re:Bourne, the educational heart of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. Performed by Magpie’s Youth and Adult Group dancers, the piece is inspired by Matthew Bourne’s adaptation of the classic Tim Burton fairytale Edward Scissorhands. This piece will appear as part of a showcase of community dance groups from Bromley.

Big Dance – Trafalgar Square 2012
Saturday 14 July. Afternoon, time to be confirmed
Trafalgar Square
The Big Street Dance is directed by one of the UK’s most successful choreographers. Wayne McGregor is Resident Choreographer with the Royal Ballet and Artistic Director of his own Random Dance. Saturday sees the performance of the largest work he has made – with around 1000 dancers

Saturday 14 July
Crouch End Broadway 12pm, 1pm
East Finchley High Road 2pm, 2.30pm
RAVE is a street performance that will bring a celebration of dance and physicality to the streets of North London for everyone to see. RAVE is aimed at passers by. Four dancers are dancing in unison even though the dance looks like it should be danced alone in a club. On the last day the performance will have a Flash mob dance element to it too, where people are invited to get involved in the dance. The dance will be displayed on the blog for people to have an idea of what it is and if they choose to take part to learn it.

U.Dance 2012
Friday 13 – Sunday 15 July
Southbank Centre, SE1
See Southbank Centre for prices. Some events are free
U.Dance 2012 is a festival bringing together some of the best young dance groups from across the UK. Take part in three days of performances and workshops, and see dancers in rehearsals.

Big Dance Walk
Sunday 15 July. 11am, 1pm, 3pm
Greenwich. Oxleas Meadow, Crown Woods Lane, Eltham Common, SE18
Public and passersby are invited to come on a guided journey through Oxleas Meadows.

Walking Piece
Sunday 15 July, 12pm, 3pm, 4pm
Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St George’s Road, SE1 6ER
Walking Piece is an installation performance by Matthias Sperling featuring a diverse group of performers who create a single-file loop that continuously circumnavigates Siobhan Davies Studios. Audience members are invited to travel along, around and among the performers’ circular route in their own time.

Pervez & DJ Biznizz, Get Down
Sunday 15 July, 12noon-4pm
Maryland Studioz, 84-90 High Road, Leytonstone, E15 1TQ
Breaking and social dance with Pervez & DJ Biznizz. Free social dance, breaking workshops and party. The concept is to bring people together to share dance and have fun together. For professional dancers it’s a chance to jam socially with others, for young people and non-dancers it’s a chance to learn some steps and give it a go.

A pick of Big Dance youth events in London:
Youth Dance Highlights

And Big Dance events are happening across the UK Full details on

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