A world of dance in one city
DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome officially launch
International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014
“A major player on the arts-festival circuit”
Luke Jennings, Observer May 2012
The countdown is now underway for one of Europe’s largest dance festivals - International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014 (IDFB) . In less than three months’ time, this award-winning biennial celebration of dance, now in its fourth year, returns to the city from Thursday 24 April 2014 – Sunday 25 May for over four weeks of world premieres, unique collaborations, community events, outdoor spectacles and world-class performances.
With more theatre shows than in previous years, featuring some of the biggest names in dance, and some of the most hotly tipped rising choreographic stars IDFB 2014 will showcase the best international dance in venues and outdoor spaces across the buzzing festival city of Birmingham.
The festival kicks off with the city’s very own Birmingham Royal Ballet, who will present two mixed bills at the Crescent Theatre (Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 April) celebrating both the old and the new. Heritage pieces by one of the choreographic greats of the twentieth century, Sir Frederick Ashton’s Les Rendezvous and Façade, will be performed alongside World Premieres by two of the UK’s up and coming choreographic stars. BRB dancer Kit Holder returns to the festival following his 2012 choreographic debut, with the first performances of his Quatrain; and former BRB dancer and Affiliate Choreographer of The Royal Ballet and New Wave Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Alexander Whitley presents his brand new piece Kin.
In keeping with the festival’s spirit of forging new partnerships and bringing together all that is great about the city, IDFB 2014 welcomes a brand new collaboration with Birmingham’s Symphony Hall with Concert Dansé (Friday 2 May). This ambitious reimagining of Duruflé’s Requiem brings together - on one stage - the prominent Birmingham-based choir Ex Cathedra alongside the formidable Québécois dance company Cas Public and a talented cast of over 50 UK musicians and dancers. This one-off and exciting new collaborative production – featuring guest artists – will transform this renowned concert venue as never before.
IDFB 2014 highlights from Festival co-producer Birmingham Hippodrome include Swiss company Alias’ mesmerising Sideways Rain and Vancouver’s Kidd Pivot led by Crystal Pite (Sadler’s Wells’ newest Associate Artist), whose company perform her Shakespeare-inspired The Tempest Replica. Celebrated names also include the world renowned dancer Sylvie Guillem, Sadler’s Wells’ acclaimed international festival of hip hop dance theatre Breakin Convention, and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui whose new work m¡longa takes a modern approach to Argentine tango. Finally, Matthew Bourne’s internationally-acclaimed New Adventures and RE:Bourne bring a new production of Lord of the Flies to Birmingham Hippodrome featuring talented local young performers.
IDFB co-producer DanceXchange is delighted to host two additional festival world premieres at its studio venue, The Patrick Centre. A rising star of South Asian Dance, Aakash Odedra Company’s brand new solo show Murmur and Inked features the sounds and music of one of the world’s leading digital arts organisations, Austria’s Ars Electronica Futurelab. Also premiering at The Patrick Centre is Midlands based choreographer Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere whose Company Decalage presents a brand new double bill featuring two exceptional talents: Lebanese choreographer, actor and dancer Guy Nader and extraordinary Egyptian performer and choreographer Salah El Brogy. Completing The Patrick Centre line up, DanceXchange Associate Artist Luca Silvestrini comes to town for five nights as part of his UK tour with his company Protein’s new show, Border Tales; and Greek company, Aerites bring their high-octane street culture-inspired Planites to IDFB for the first time.
IDFB is delighted that one of the city’s leading theatres, Birmingham Repertory Theatre is hosting the Canadian circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main’s new show Séquence 8, the theatre’s inaugural dance event since it re-opened in 2013. This show will delight family audiences with truly awe inspiring acrobatics.
Additional Festival highlights include Irish company Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre who perform their own version of The Rite of Spring & Petrushka at Warwick Arts Centre. This year, the festival also includes the opportunity to celebrate the best of the Midlands’ youth dance companies at MY (Midlands Youth) Dance Festival in the festival’s opening weekend at Ruddock Performing Arts Centre at King Edward’s School, Edgbaston.
Also new for IDFB 2014 is a weekly opportunity to ‘paint the town red’ with a series of social dance events celebrating a broad range of styles – from swing and lindy-hop to tango, capoeira, jazz fusion and house. Spaces across Birmingham will throw open their doors throughout the festival to host weekly public gatherings such as a Swing Dance Day, a Brazilian street party, a midnight tango milonga and a footwork fusion dance night. As part of his international residency for IDFB 2014 New Zealand choreographer Corey Baker will work with members of the public and professional dance artists to perform ‘A Haka day out’, based on the traditional Māori war dance. He can also be seen on the streets of Birmingham City Centre performing his comical dance solo Headphones.
Concluding this year’s IDFB over four nights is B-Town – a major, free outdoor spectacle where pioneering performers from the world of street dance will transform Victoria Square. This electric new production features explosive dance from World B-Boy Champions Morning of Owl (Korea) and an all star line-up from Funkstylerz UK collective brought to you by ProDance.
Artistic Director of DanceXchange and Co-Artistic Director of IDFB 2014, David Massingham said: “We are thrilled to premiere so much new work in IDFB 2014 and to feature the work of both hugely established names, such as Sylvie Guillem and Matthew Bourne, in addition to giving a platform to exciting new choreographic talent like Kit Holder and Alexander Whitley, whose dance careers really took off in Birmingham. It is a real testimony to Birmingham and the success of previous festivals, that so many of our city and region-wide venues and organisations want to be a part of IDFB 2014, as hosts and as collaborators. Together we can really show how much culture, passion and talent the Midlands has to offer.”
Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome and Co-Artistic Director of IDFB 2014 added:
“Birmingham really is an influential cultural hub for dance all year round. But in an IDFB year that is felt more keenly as the great range of festival activity spills onto the streets and into unusual spaces and venues capturing new audiences of all ages and from many diverse communities. Since 2008, over four successful and growing festivals, we’ve tried hard with our funding partners to establish IDFB as a major event for Birmingham. With artists, performers and choreographers from South Asia, Austria, Lebanon, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Canada, Argentina, Ireland and New Zealand we’re therefore delighted that the City Council now recognises us as a ‘Signature Festival’ for Birmingham as this will help us achieve further ambitious plans in years to come.”
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “International Dance Festival Birmingham is a real highlight in the UK’s cultural calendar. It not only brings new opportunities for artists, dance companies and producers, but attracts huge audiences to the region, benefiting the local economy. This year’s programme promises unique and ambitious productions, but what I think will be really exciting are the new opportunities for people to take part in social dance events. I’m sure there’ll be something everyone will enjoy.”
Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “International Dance Festival Birmingham is now well-established and continues to go from strength to strength. As well as its high profile programme of international performances which reach audiences from far and wide, its outreach programme injects an energy into our communities and enables local people to get fully involved, creating a
sense of excitement across the city. Its role as a major event in the cultural calendar helps to cement Birmingham’s reputation as a Festivals City as well as a centre of excellence for dance, and I am delighted that Birmingham City Council is able to continue to support it in 2014.”
For more information on International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014 visit www.idfb.co.uk - which together with 2014 Festival Listings also features a full video and photographic archive of previous years.
Notes to Editors:
- IDFB 2014 is produced by DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome. The festival will run 24 April – 25 May 2014.
- IDFB 2014 is funded by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and the European Union via the Investing in the City Region ERDF project managed by Marketing Birmingham.
- Concert Dansé has been supported by the Quebec Government Office, and is sponsored by Brewin Dolphin
- The Copthorne Hotel, Birmingham is the Official Festival Hotel for IDFB 2014.
- BBC WM and What’s On are IDFB 2014 media partners.
- DanceXchange (dx) is a power house of dance with excellence, innovation, education and inclusion at its heart – and is part of the largest dance partnership in Britain. dx takes the best British dance to a worldwide stage and brings outstanding artists from across the world to Birmingham. dx is also a producing house; it produces innovative site-specific commissions and large-scale performance events in both professional and community contexts, co-produces a range of touring productions, and develops work for theatres and for outdoor places and unusual spaces. dx also engages people from all backgrounds in healthy dance activity, and nurtures gifted young people to help shape the dance artists of the future.
- Birmingham Hippodrome is an independent, not-for-profit, registered charity. The unsubsidised Hurst Street venue averages over 500,000 visits annually making it the most popular single auditorium in the UK. Its partners include Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange, it presents all of Welsh National Opera’s repertoire, it welcomes the best in international dance, West End and Broadway musicals and is home to the world’s biggest Pantomime. Birmingham Hippodrome sells more seats for dance than any other theatre outside London.
- Hippodrome Plus is the theatre’s newly expanded portfolio of activities in education, access and FREE performance. This builds on years of successful work in schools and in the community. With partners including Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and private funders, the Hippodrome has recently enjoyed co-producing and producing new events including Six Summer Saturdays, International Dance Festival Birmingham, The Voyage (for the London 2012 Festival) and Summer in Southside. On behalf of Birmingham Arts Partnership, the Hippodrome produced the 4 Squares Weekender, varied performances in celebration of the opening of the Library of Birmingham.
- Venues hosting IDFB 2014 include Birmingham Hippodrome, DanceXchange, Symphony Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, Victoria Square and the streets of Birmingham city centre.
- IDFB first took place in 2008 and saw almost 25,000 people watch over 60 performances. IDFB 2010 provided over 66,000 audience and participatory experiences with 48 ticketed performances and 101 free performances. IDFB 2012 achieved audiences of over 60,000 with estimated economic impact of £5.6 million.
IDFB PRESS NIGHTS*
*Press nights take place on the opening nights of each event – Please let us know asap which dates and performances you wish to attend.
If you wish to attend but are unable to make the first night - we are very happy to organise tickets for any other performance. Please see listings for additional dates and times of the individual shows.
We are happy to help with travel and accommodation
For tickets/images and press travel assistance:
International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014 Listings
Birmingham Royal Ballet // Three Short Works
Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 April // 7.30pm & 2.30pm (Saturday)
The Crescent Theatre
£16-£19/ Under 25s £11
Suitable for all ages
0121 643 5858 or book online www.idfb.co.uk/brb
Paint The Town Red // Argentine Tango Intensive
Friday 25 – Sunday 27 April //
Midnight Milonga Saturday 26 April //
8pm-1am // Blue Ice Plaza, Solihull
Wednesday 30 April – Sunday 4 May // Birmingham High Street & City Centre
Tuesday 6 – Wednesday 7 May // 8pm
DanceXchange, Patrick Centre,Birmingham Hippodrome
Company Decalage // Match & Halfway to The Other Side
Corey Baker Dance // A Haka Day Out
Wednesday 21 – Saturday 24 May // 9.30pm
For the full information, including venue addresses and more on ticket prices visit www.idfb.co.uk