International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014 to Kick Off in the UK, April 24
The award-winning International Dance Festival Birmingham, one of Europe's biggest dance festivals, returns to the city from 24 April 2014 - bringing the theatres, streets and squares of Birmingham to life with four consecutive weeks of dance. Following three previous successful festivals in 2008, 2010 and 2012, this biennial event, co-produced by DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome, once again features an eclectic and jam-packed programme bursting with world-class performers, unique international collaborations, premieres, new commissions and a range of participatory opportunities in venues across Birmingham and the West Midlands.
In an exciting new relationship for IDFB 2014, the festival will work for the first time with Birmingham's renowned Symphony Hall to create Concert Danse; an ambitious reimagining of Durufle's Requiem performed by Birmingham-based choir Ex Cathedra alongside Que?be?cois Dance Company Cas Public and a talented cast of over 50 UK musicians and dancers. This unique production on Friday 2 May will combine incredible live music with evocative dance to create an ethereal, haunting atmosphere, transforming Symphony Hall as never before.
As in previous festivals, IDFB 2014 brings many of the city's premier arts organisations and venues together to work in partnership and celebrate the region's collective and vibrant cultural scene. These venues include Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Warwick Arts Centre and the Crescent Theatre. Less conventional venues will host social dance events throughout the festival, with the festival culminating with a four night outdoor finale B-Town in Victoria Square featuring International and award winning street dance and music performers in a b-boy dance spectacle - battling across multiple stages in the heart of the city.
Following the success of their IDFB 2012 performances, Birmingham Royal Ballet will kick off the 2014 festival with two mixed bills featuring world premieres of new works by young, emerging choreographers and heritage pieces by one of the choreographic greats of the twentieth century. The new works, Kit Holder's Quatrain and Alexander Whitley's Kin. will be performed alongside Sir Frederick Ashton's Le Rendezvous and Fac?ade between 24 and 26 April at the Crescent Theatre.
IDFB 2014 performance highlights at Birmingham Hippodrome include Swiss Company Alias' mesmerising Sideways Rain and Vancouver's Kidd Pivot led by Crystal Pite, who will perform the Shakespeare inspired Tempest Replica. Much loved and familiar names returning here for the festival include the legendary Sylvie Guillem, Sadler's Wells' Breakin Convention and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's new work m¡longa, a contemporary take on Argentine tango. Finally, internationally acclaimed New Adventures and RE:Bourne bring a new production of Lord of the Flies to the Hippodrome featuring a cast of young performers from the Midlands.
In DanceXchange's Studio Theatre The Patrick Centre, Luca Silvestrini's Protein explores themes of identity in Border Tales, Mickael 'Marso' Riviere presents a double bill working with Egyptian and Lebanese artists and South Asian dance artist Aakash Odedra premieres a collaboration with one of the world's leading digital arts organisations Ars Electronica from Austria.
Elsewhere in the city and wider region Birmingham Repertory Theatre hosts the astonishing Canadian circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main's new show Se?quence 8, and Irish company Fabulous Beast 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 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 open to all - in a range of styles including swing and lindy-hop, tango, capoeira, jazz fusion and house. Spaces across Birmingham will throw open their doors to host weekly public gatherings such as a Brazilian street party, a midnight tango milonga and a footwork fusion dance night.
As part of his international residency for IDFB 2014 choreographer Corey Baker from New Zealand, will work with members of the public and professional dance artists to perform a 'Haka day out', based on the traditional Ma?ori war dance.
Concluding this year's IDFB will once again be a major free outdoor performance in Birmingham's Victoria Square - B-Town. International and pioneering performers from the worlds of street dance and music unite to present a b-boy dance spectacular battling across multiple stages in the square.
Artistic Director of DanceXchange and Co-Artistic Director of IDFB 2014, David Massingham said "This IDFB will continue to build on the successes of our previous three festivals, reaching wider and new audiences for dance by presenting work in innovative ways and creating new opportunities to participate. IDFB 2014 will showcase some of Birmingham's finest venues, and gives DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome the opportunity to present a wide range of innovative and entertaining dance."
Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome and Co-Artistic Director of IDFB 2014 added: "We are very pleased that once again we have the support of funding partners at Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and the European Union. The wider economic benefits of arts activities such as IDFB are significant. We feel certain that this high quality festival programme and broad range of participatory opportunities will again deliver strong engagement and draw international attention to the city."
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.
IDFB 2014 is produced by DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome. The festival will run 24 April - 25 May 2014.
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.
Final venue and partner details for Paint the Town Red events will be confirmed in Birmingham Hippodrome and Birmingham Repertory Theatre are currently on sale, all other performances will be on sale from January 2014.