We are all very excited to tell you about the return of the International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014! You will be able to experience a range of performances from ballet to large non-choreographed social dances. With so many brilliant performances to talk about, the following will just be a selection of my top picks for the festival.
For Starters, ‘Three Short Works’ 24th – 26th April
The International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014 kicks off with ‘Three Short Works’. From the Birmingham Royal Ballet, a selection of performances called Quatrain, Kin, Les Rendezvous and Façade. Les Rendezvous will be available to see from 24th–25th April, with Quatrain and Kin continuing to be shown alongside Façade on 26th April.
Inspired by the fantastically exciting and vibrant tango rhythms of Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Season’s of Buenos Aires, Company First Artist Kit Holder creates his third ballet for the Company. Following the success of his previous work, 9-5, which featured in IDFB 2012, these premiere performances of his latest work are keenly anticipated.
An exciting new ballet from Royal Opera House Choreographic Affiliate, Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate and former Birmingham Royal Ballet dancer, Alexander Whitley. The ballet, to music by young American composer Phil Kline, will receive its’ premiere at IDFB 2014. Not to be missed!
A huge hit when it was first performed in 1933, Les Rendezvous was the first ballet in which Ashton put aside the comedy for which he was known and concentrated on pure technique. Loosely based round a group of friends meeting up in a park, the ballet is a series of fiercely difficult divertissements which give the whole cast the chance to show off their virtuosity.
Finally, based on Edith Sitwell’s deliciously nonsensical poetry, Façade embraces the fun of it all with whole-hearted and wilful abandon. Be entertained by a series of delightful characters dancing tangos, foxtrots and waltzes, all with their tongues firmly in their cheeks. Choreographed in 1931, Façade was Sir Frederick Ashton’s first big hit, and is full of the gentle comedy he is known and loved for – an enjoyable break from the sanity of everyday life!
World Premier, ‘Headphones’ 30th April – 4th May
Promising to provide us with a fresh organic series of performances, Corey Baker brings us ‘Headphones’. In keeping with Corey Bakers’ ethos of producing engaging and unique productions, ‘Headphones’ will allow the audience to direct part of the dancers’ choreography. Set to hide ‘undercover’, the performances will be surprising and unpredictable with elements of comedy.
You can watch this trailer to get an idea of the fun performance, as well as directly suggest moves by tweeting @IDFB #headphones.
‘Lord of the Flies’ 14th–17th May
Mathew Bourne has invited 24 young people to join his latest hit production ‘Lord of the Flies’ based on the classic novel written by William Goulding. There are 8 professional dancers within the cast, to work alongside the newly recruited dancers to give a unique opportunity to young dancers in each city that the production is set to perform in. Because of this the theatre performance has already gained great publicity. The combination of mentoring and unity has made the project a wonderful success already and should be a great motivational piece, especially for young people who with a passion for dance.
‘Lord of the Flies’ will be performed at The Birmingham Hippodrome over 4 days with tickets available now.
‘Spill: A Playground of Dance’ – 25th May
DanceXchange is housed within Birmingham Hippodrome, both of whom have worked together to produce the 2014 International Dance Festival Birmingham. Owning 3 dance studios and The Patrick Centre (a 206 seat studio), DanceXchange strives to support the dancing community and enable their dancers to showcase the best of their talents. ‘Spill’ was first shown in 2012, and is an outdoor production that will be performed in the beautiful Cannon Hill Park. Choreographed by Australian Artist Shaun Parker, of Shaun Parker & Company, it should be a playful piece using street gymnastics and location based props of swings and roundabouts.
With so many different events and performances there is bound to be something for everybody and you can view IDFB’s 2014 staff picks here to find some first hand recommendations!