Rosie Kay Chosen To Choreograph Commonwealth Games Handover

Rosie Kay Chosen To Choreograph Commonwealth Games HandoverBirmingham-based choreographer Rosie Kay has been selected as one of the lead artists for the handover of the Commonwealth Games from Australia to Birmingham on 15 April. Kay will be choreographing the handover performance in Birmingham which will be broadcast to a global televised audience of 1 billion people.

Rosie Kay has received numerous accolades for her contribution to the UK's dance scene, with Rosie Kay Dance Company being nominated for Best Independent Dance Company 2017 at the National Dance Awards. The company will join Arts Council England's National Portfolio for the first time from April 2018. The Commonwealth Games commission comes at a busy time ahead of two projects as part of Birmingham International Dance Festival; a large-scale version of Woyzeck at Birmingham REP with a community cast of 100+ and performances of the urban action piece MODERN WARRIOR.

The other participating artists that are first to be announced are film maker Daniel Alexander and singer Lady Sanity.

Birmingham City Council and the Commonwealth Games Federation have asked Culture Central, the development organisation for culture in the Birmingham city region, to produce the handover working with artists and young people from across the city to celebrate the city's status as the youngest and most diverse city in the UK.

Choreographer Rosie Kay said: "I am hugely exited and inspired by what this Commonwealth Games can do and say about young people and Birmingham today. It's a fantastic challenge and opportunity both for myself and for the young people that will sign up to be part of this welcome to Birmingham. Dance is about challenging perceptions and exciting audiences and what better way to bring Birmingham to life across the world than with a choreographed, fun, mass dance performance!"

Culture Central are now calling for 2,022 young performers aged 16 - 25 years to be part of the mass participation dance choreographed by Rosie Kay in Birmingham, which will form an integral part of the handover celebrations. Interested young people should live within 1 hour of the city centre and feel comfortable moving to music - but no formal dance training is necessary.

Gary Topp CEO Culture Central said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for young people aged 16 - 25 to be part of a global celebration of Birmingham and to take the lead in introducing Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to the world. We urge young people to join Daniel Alexander, Lady Sanity and Rosie Kay in celebrating their city as they perform to an estimated audience of 1 billion people."

Cllr Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, whose portfolio includes arts and culture, said: "Birmingham has a cultural sector up there with the very best in the world. I am sure the team behind our closing ceremony handover and the young people who take part in it will project this city's youth, energy and creativity on the global stage for everyone in the Commonwealth and beyond to see.

"This is one of the first ways in which Birmingham citizens can get directly involved with the Games, and this opportunity sets the tone for an exciting four year-period in which there will be many varying ways for people of all ages from all communities to be a part of the Birmingham 2022 experience."

Louise Martin CBE, Commonwealth Games Federation President, said: "It will be a very special honour for me to pass the CGF flag to Birmingham at the Closing Ceremony in just 39 days' time. Birmingham 2022 will take their first steps on the global stage and give us all a first glimpse of this truly Commonwealth city's inspiring plans to surprise and showcase today's modern, vibrant Commonwealth."

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: "The handover ceremony is an incredible opportunity for the people of Birmingham to put the city's amazing culture, diversity, youth and energy on the world stage. The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will be brilliant for the whole country, help drive economic growth across the region and leave a strong sport legacy."

Young people interested in being part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity should sign up via http://www.birmingham2022.com/ Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Participants must be available for try outs and rehearsals on either 30 or 31 March and then every day from 9 - 15 April inclusive*.

Rosie Kay is an award-winning choreographer and Artistic Director of Rosie Kay Dance Company. RKDC creates brave new dance in Birmingham that tours to audiences at home and abroad. Rosie has a reputation for making bold, original and exciting works that challenge perceptions and take on innovative subjects. RKDC has recently joined Arts Council England's National Portfolio. Current projects include the hit show 5 SOLDIERS which will tour internationally from 2019, MK ULTRA which will tour for second time in autumn 2018 and MODERN WARRIOR, an urban action experience touring to summer festivals. Rosie is also Associate Director and Choreographer for a large scale adaptation of Woyzeck with a community cast of 100+ at Birmingham Repertory Theatre as part of Birmingham International Dance Festival 2018.

Rosie's recent works include the multi-award winning work 5 SOLDIERS- the Body is the Frontline (2015) based on intense research with the British Army and screened live online recently by BBC Arts as part of the programme at Sadler's Wells and MK ULTRA (2017) the pop conspiracy work made with BBC film-maker Adam Curtis. Kay has worked in film as the choreographer to Sunshine on Leith (2013), and her film of 5 SOLDIERS was exhibited in the UK, France and Germany.

Kay has worked with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, International Dance Festival Birmingham and Birmingham Royal Ballet. Kay was the first choreographer appointed Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the University of Oxford. Awards for her work include Best Independent Company (2015), National Dance Awards and nominated (2012 and 2017), Royal Society for Public Health award for support to military communities, and the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award. Kay has a three year old son, Gabriel and lives in Northfield, Birmingham, with her film-maker husband Louis Price.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will demonstrate the very best of Global Britain to the world, showcasing the region's strengths of: being connected and accessible; youth and inclusivity; and a focus on regeneration and rejuvenation. Birmingham is perfectly positioned to attract people to the Games and to ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and region, to the UK and the Commonwealth. Birmingham 2022 has the full support of the UK government, Commonwealth Games England, and the wider Midlands region, including: Birmingham City Council; three regional local enterprise partnerships: Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP; Black Country LEP; Coventry and Warwickshire LEP; the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street; the city's universities; and the Midlands Engine. In addition, Birmingham 2022 is supported by The Birmingham Commonwealth Association.

*Organisers will provide a £5 travel contribution for each participant daily.

Young people aged 16+ may attend unaccompanied providing they are over 16 years old by 31st August 2017 and can provide valid photographic ID eg passport/student card and emergency contact information. Further terms and conditions can found on www.birmingham2022.com

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