To The Beat of the Brum
Birmingham International Dance Festival is back
Birmingham International Dance Festival got underway on Tuesday, but if you've missed it so far fear not, it's only just warming up. This weekend and next weekend sees the bigger, outdoorsier numbers kick in, from Handsworth Park, to the MAC and Centenary Square, the "something for everyone" cliche can legit be applied. Performances on trucks, giant puppets, augmented reality and Black Victoriana, it's a citywide celebration of dilettantish dance. And all of these are completely free...
BORN TO PROTEST BY JUST US DANCE THEATRE
What? Hip-Hop dance theatre in fifth gear, Born to Protest challenges presumptions of black male and female figures and reveals fragility, vulnerability and the constant battle to prove oneself. Check out this video for a taster of the high-intensity action. Do make a note of the trigger warning.
Where and when? Handsworth Park (Sept 25), MAC (Sept 26) and Centenary Square (Oct 2 and 3)
KRE8 BY MARSO RIVIERE
What? Nope, not me coming out of Snobs last week, but one of the leading experimental dance contests in the UK presenting its first ever solo concept battle. Guided by the event hosts, 8 guest dancers will go head-to-head to the sound of a live band and a DJ, following various creative tasks and showcasing their best movement and creative abilities. Special guest contestant: Carl Chinn. Nah, just kidding.
Where and when? Centenary Square (Oct 1)
FROCK BY STOPGAP DANCE COMPANY
What? Six performers collide in an uplifting dance riot set to a new art rock soundtrack. This quirky work offers playful observations of the yesteryears and explodes into a ‘punkish’ celebration of individuality and difference — something that will chime particularly well in Birmingham. Sneak peek video, right here.
Where and when? MAC (Sept 25) and Centenary Square (Oct 2 and 3)
FUTURE CARGO BY REQUARDT & ROSENBERG
What? Important: This one is indeed free but there's only a limited number of on the door tickets available. Book in advance to ensure your place. Personally the one I'm most excited about for its batsh*t beauty. A sci-fi dance show phenomenon performed in a 40 foot haulage truck — yes! The sides roll up and a strange and unstoppable process is set in motion, combining large-scale spectacle with surprising intimacy. Check this trailer out!
Where and when? Centenary Square (Sept 30 and Oct 1)
DAMAEDANCE PRESENTS IRMÃ-SISTER;
What? A mesmerising outdoor number, expect a cutting-edge exploration of the beauty and challenges of women’s relationships, looking at how they affect and shape the way we perceive ourselves and our environment. Narrated with an athletic and restless movement language, two women face a journey through conflict and harmony, tenderness and anger, misunderstanding and support, from which they emerge with a renewed understanding of themselves.
Where and when? Handsworth Park (Sept 25) and MAC (Sept 26)
0AR BY AΦE
What? Crikey, try Googling that one! Experience Augmented Reality where five people connected by tablet devices explore, interact, and move around a series of imaginary digital dances. Essentially, experience extracts of original work popping up in 3D. At only 10 mins long it promises to be a cracker for kids. Check out the trailer here.
Where and when? MAC (Sept 25 and 26)
BLACK VICTORIANS BY JEANEFER JEAN-CHARLES
What? Inspired by the discovery of hundreds of portraits of black people in England during the Victorian era. These images were deliberately airbrushed from our society for over 100 years. Now a powerful dance performance of black men, women and children, this inspiring show highlights previously hidden figures and challenges historical and contemporary perceptions. Expect a range of dance styles from African and Jazz to street and contemporary.
Where and when? MAC (Sept 25 and 26)
OUT OF THE DEEP BLUE BY AUTIN DANCE THEATRE
What? The whirr of the wind cutting across a rocky beach, the whoosh of the waves lapping the shore… The illusion of calm is broken when EKO, a sentient Sea Giant, pads onto dry land. There he encounters a young girl called Violet. And that’s where the story begins. Through dance, movement and puppeteering, Out of the Deep Blue dives into the themes of climate and biodiversity, by using an awesome 4-metre tall Puppet. Another one for the nippers.
Where and when? Handsworth Park (Sept 25), MAC (Sept 26) and Centenary Square (Oct 3)
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