News: Bus loads of dance

Thursday 20 May 2010

Big Dance 2010 is just six weeks away and today the Big Dance bus – a reconditioned Routemaster – set off on its mission to take dance all around the capital, rolling out its silver dance floor in a variety of locations and presenting professional performances and chances for everyone to have a go themselves.

This weekend (22 & 23rd May) the bus will be visiting Westfield Shopping Centre, in West London, with a range of shows and workshops and English National Ballet performing sequences from Swan Lake on Sunday.

Over 600 dance events will be taking place between now and the end of Big Dance week, which runs from 3 – 11 July, presented by five key organisations : East London Dance, English National Ballet, Greenwich Dance, Sadler’s Wells and Siobhan Davies Dance.

Many of the landmark buildings and spaces around London will be transformed in Big Dance week. Shobana Jeyasingh is making a new work for the Courtyard of Somerset House (Thu 1 – Sun 4 July); Jeanefer Jean-Charles is choreographing 100 dancers for an open air remix of Ravel’s Bolero in Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf (Sat 3 July); the Big Dance Bubble will land in Eltham Palace Gardens a free programme of dance, theatre, circus and music for all the family as part of Greenwich World Cultural Festival (Sunday 4 July); 270 children from primary schools in Southwark and Lambeth take part in a giant public performance set in London’s oldest food market, Borough Market, led by dance and visual artists from Siobhan Davies Dance * and in the centre of London, after dark, *Trafalgar Square will be home to *Slow Dancing*, a huge video installation,with 50 mesmerising larger than life, hyper slow motion, high definition video portraits of dancers from around the world .

The list of participants in American artist David Michalek’s creation reads like a who’s who of dance talent, including New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan, Kuchipudi and contemporary dancer Shantala Shivalingappa, former dancer, choreographer and artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Judith Jamison, renowned international choreographer William Forsythe, award-winning dancer-choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Alexei Ratmansky, former ballet dancer and director of the Bolshoi Ballet, now artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre. Three randomly selected portraits are shown simultaneously, allowing viewers to compare dancers from different styles and different worlds.

Asked about the inspiration for *Slow Dances*, Michalek says _“Dance is an underappreciated art form—the NEA (the USA’s National Educational Association) tells us that only eight percent of the U.S. population will ever see a live dance performance. This led me to the idea of making a visual statement centred on celebrating dance – but not limited to any one kind of dance – to try to capture the “essence” of dance in a different medium.” _
Under appreciated or not, there will be no missing dance in London this summer!

Find comprehensive listings of what’s happening:*, including the* Big Dance Bus timetable**

Also check the Big Dance 2010 section on our noticeboard the latest events – including Sadler’s Wells Big Dance Open House on 26 & 27 June – where resident companies including Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Jonzi D Productions will lead you through the workshop of your choice for just £5!. NB – you need to be logged in to access the noticeboard…

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