News: International Dance Festival Birmingham

Thursday 17 April 2008

Birmingham’s International Dance Festival opens on 28 April and features 35 performances over the following month.

Highlights include The Kirov Ballet, Japanese choreographer Saburo Teshigawara & KARAS, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan and the Akram Khan Company, with members of the National Ballet of China in Bahok, Khan’s latest production which premiered in Beijng earlier this year.

There’s also the chance to catch the only UK performances this year by choreographer Robyn Orlin and City Theater & Dance Group from Johannesburg. Their poignant dance theatre production We Must Eat Our Lollipops With The Wrappers On deals with HIV/Aids.

David Massingham, Festival Co-Artistic Director, said: “I wanted to find something for International Dance Festival Birmingham that dealt with current issues; that helped dissolve the myth that dance is just about beautiful bodies making amazing shapes. This show by Robyn Orlin was born from the heart of the worldwide issue that is HIV/Aids and in telling the story it unfolds in a very beautiful way through innovative artistic means. Full of visual imagery as well as traditional African dance and song, it’s not just about a physical issue but about courage in life.”

The festival also features a full programme of chances to take part in dance – from taster sessions to advance master classes – and to see dance in unexpected places. Choreographer Luca Silvestrini is creating a series of specially commissioned dance pieces for the windows of top Birmingham city centre shops and the omnipresent Hofesh Shechter will be transforming Victoria Square into an acrobatic playground for two afternoons.

Birmingham based dance artist Rosie Kay will be performing a brand new duet for the first time as part of the Festival. Double Points:K was inspired by Double Points:Two the creation of Italian/Dutch partnership Emio Greco and Peter C. Scholten. Rosie was thrilled to work with Emio Greco in Amsterdam in 2007 and now both works will be performed on the same evening at Dance Exchange.

“This work really means a lot to me,”
she said. “I first saw Emio Greco’s work Double Points:Two in 1998 at Edinburgh International Festival, and I think it may have changed my life! Little did I know that nearly ten years later I would be dancing my own version of this work. I am delighted to be dancing along side one of my true heroes in dance and I feel privileged to invite him to Birmingham to be part of this unique festival.”

The climax of the Festival will be the spectacular Salsa at Sunset finale on Sunday 25 May, which takes place in the heart of the city, when over 400 people will take part in a specially-choreographed, synchronised salsa routine.

All this and much more on the International Dance Festival Birmingham website:

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