News: Dance - in London 2012 Festival

Thursday 10 November 2011

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch 'Agua'

With the unveiling last week of the confirmed events for the London 2012 Festival and venues and arts organisations across the city announcing their programmes for next summer, one thing is for sure – we will be spoilt for choice. Announcing the confirmed plans for next year Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad said they were intent on creating “10 million chances to see something for nothing.”

Details of many of the dance events which will be part of the London 2012 Festival were already known – but more are being added as the countdown to the games continues. Big Dance will be back and bigger than ever – this time aiming to get 5 million people across the whole of the UK dancing. One of the highlight events will feature a cast of 1,000 dancers in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 14 July, with fragments of dance pieces made by groups across London combined into one by choreographer turned director Wayne McGregor.

Highly successful features of previous Big Dance programmes were *The Big Chair Dance* _(2008) and _Dancing Stages (2010) organised by East London Dance, Capital Age Festival and Southbank Centre and designed to bring mental, social and physical benefits to older people through involvement in dance. In 2012, Dancing Voices (11 July) will include 150 dancers and 50 singers from Southbank’s Voicelab group.

Between 6 June – 9 July there will be the unprecedented chance to see ten different Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch productions in the World Cities 2012 programme at the Barbican Theatre and Sadler’s Wells. (Some tickets still available).

American choreographer Elizabeth Streb has been developing her own form of dare devil movement – extreme action – to create spectacular site specific performances. Her company will be extended to include dancers/performers from London, creating a series of pop up events across the capital and its skyline in One Extraordinary Day in July (date tbc).

In parallel with the Paralympic Games in September, Southbank Centre is presenting Unlimited – the largest ever UK programme of new commissions celebrating arts and culture by disabled and deaf artists. The commissions include new works by Claire Cunningham (seen recently in Dance Umbrella) who together with Marc Brew is making a large scale dance piece for Candoco. The UK’s ground breaking integrated dance company has invited guest dancers from previous host city Beijing and future host Rio de Janeiro to join them,celebrating diversity and inclusivity across the world(Performances between 21 Jun – 9 Sep). Marc Brew will also be showing a new work for five dancers with a score by composer Philip Sheppard and percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

In partnership with the National Gallery, The Royal Ballet will be present new work made by a range of contemporary artists, composers, poets, visual artists and choreographers Christopher Wheeldon with Alastair Marriott, Wayne McGregor with Kim Brandstrup and Will Tuckett, Liam Scarlett with Jonathan Watkins – in response to paintings by the Renaissance master Titian. The works will be shown in the National Gallery and performed at the Royal Opera House (14 -20 July).

U. Dance (13 – 19 July), presented by Youth Dance England, will fill Southbank Centre with young dancers – including three evening’s performances by a newly created and auditioned U.Dance Ensemble made up of 20 young dancers from across the UK in a one-off piece choreographed and directed by Hofesh Shechter.

Other dance related 2012 Festival events across the country include award-winning Argentinean choreographer and director Constanza Macras creating a new site specific work in North Wales and Mandala – a fusion of classical and South Asian dance, music and 3D architectural projection, featuring dance artist Shantala Shivalingappa.

More on the festival here: **”“: **

Southbank Centre is presenting a Festival of the World from 1 June – 9 September and with its central site on the bank of the Thames and a programme of multicultural music, poetry and performance, with the emphasis very much on participation, it looks set to be at the centre of the Olympic celebrations. More details Watch this video:

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