News: Big Dance weekend receives Exceptional Award of £344,780 from Arts Council England

Monday 16 June 2014 by Carmel Smith

Rehearsals for Jorge Crecis' 'Through and Out', Greenwich Dance. Photo: Danilo Moroni

The Foundation for Community Dance has received an Exceptional Award of £344,780 from Arts Council England for The Big Dance Weekend, 12 & 13 July 2014 – an extensive programme of specially commissioned dance performances and participatory events that will animate and ‘positively disrupt’ public spaces across England.

Commissioned by the Big Dance Hubs across England with the Foundation for Community Dance, these large-scale events will be created by professional choreographers and dance artists working with communities to provide opportunities for people to take part, watch spectacular dance up close and see unusual and iconic locations transformed by dance. The Big Dance Weekend is a highlight and the finale of Big Dance 2014, which runs for nine days from 5 – 13 July nationwide.

In London, alongside the Big Dance in Trafalgar Square , events include: Greenwich Dance’s Through and Out: Skipping Extravaganza, a cross-over of dance and rope skipping devised by Jorge Crecis with an audio soundtrack and over 500 dance-skippers in Greenwich Park; Arts Party in Spa Fields Park, Islington, organised by Sadler’s Wells, with choreography by Wayne McGregor|Random Dance; East London Dance presents Natasha Gilmore’s The River; in West London, English National Ballet present Kinetic Echo – Our Dancing Selves, with choreography by Cameron McMillan and Siobhan Davies Dance present Routes to the River, a trail performance ending at the Southbank Centre Gardens, choreographed by Henrietta Hale.

Amongst many events taking place across the UK look out for: MDI present We are the City, a moving installation and tapestry of Liverpool life, through the streets of Anfield and culminating in Stanley Park, created by choreographer Willi Dorner; Yorkshire Dance present Bodies on the Beach, a journey of 200 moving and dancing bodies in the striking landscape of Bridlington beach created by Susanne Thomas; in Nottingham’s Market Square and at the Corby Highland Gathering, Dance4 present Live Bolero, a Torvill and Dean inspired mass performance created by Jeanefer Jean-Charles; in Ipswich Arthur Pita presents The World’s Greatest Show with DanceEast and Pavilion Dance South West presents The Giant’s Story with choreography by Rosie Heafford (Second Hand Dance) and ten locally based dance artists in collaboration with libraries across South West England.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “The Exceptional Awards programme is an opportunity for us to recognise outstanding ideas of national importance. The Big Dance Weekend definitely falls into this category. It promises to be an exciting 48 hours of ambitious and entertaining events that give people all over the country the opportunity to experience dance in a way they haven’t done before. It will showcase world-class and emerging dancers and choreographers, as well as encouraging people from all walks of life and of all ages to take part in a host of different dance activities.”

Chris Stenton, Executive Director, Foundation for Community Dance, said: “Arts Council England’s support has enabled us to develop a diverse, large-scale programme of participatory dance, following on from the huge success of Big Dance 2012. With events taking place at over 30 locations across England, created by some of the most exciting and renowned international dance artists and companies from the UK and around the world, The Big Dance Weekend is an unmissable opportunity for people and communities to get involved in dance”.

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