Birmingham is a young, diverse city, a place where anything is possible, where the extraordinary happens in the most unexpected spaces. Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF), produced by Birmingham-based DanceXchange, with a rich network of partners, returns to the city from 1 – 24 June 2018 and sets out to capture this spirit. From the wacky to the sublime, BIDF’s programme will invite audiences into the city’s theatres as well as taking over the city’s streets and squares with show-stopping free performances and opportunities to get dancing.
International choreographers and companies from across Europe and further afield bring a world premiere and 10 UK premieres including the acclaimed Portuguese choreographer Rui Horta returning to the stage after a 30 year absence; Compagnie Didier Theron with its tongue-in-cheek AIR; the light sculpting choreography of Czech Vera Ondrasikova & Collective; the full on virtuosic freestyling of the Netherland’s ISH Dance Collective; high octane hip hop with a twist from fellow Dutch Compagnie Dyptik; Swiss VR innovators Compagnie Gilles Jobin & Artanim, and the gravity defying wizardry of Israeli artist Ofir Yudilevitch.
Leading British choreographers Wayne McGregor and Rosie Kay head up a programme of UK talent which also demonstrates Birmingham’s reputation as the UK’s first city of dance and celebrates that lineage through a series of commissions and a platform for local talent in Midlands Made.
The Midlands Made commissions are a new strand for BIDF 2018 supported by Official Travel Partner West Midlands Railway and Dance Hub Birmingham. The investment through Midlands Made creates employment, exposure and new creative challenges for artists – and is an important part of DanceXchange’s work to nurture talent and motivate artists to live and work in the region.
The Midlands Made commissions will take over Festival Square from 4-8 June. There are three commissioned artists creating new work. Andy Ingamells with Make Each Face A Living Note; Andy is a Birmingham-based interdisciplinary artist who develops unusual methods of musical composition that blur the line between composer and performer. Rebecca Thomas with Every Body Has A Story To Tell; Rebecca is as a choreographer in Birmingham theatres and communities and is a winner of DanceXchange's Choreography Award. She sees dance as an expression of the individual and of shared stories contained in the physical body. Finally Mickael Marso Riviere with T-Break/Appel #2; Northampton-based Marso, is the artistic director of Midlands based dance company Decalage, which has created work rooted in contemporary and street-dance styles for over 10 years. He is also an Artistic Director of B-Side Hip Hop Festival.
In addition, BIDF 2018 will present six pieces of existing work as part of Midlands Made - Becky Namgauds - Rodadoras; Johnny Autin - Dystopia; Laura Vanhulle - Infinite Womanhood; Maya Verlaak / Andy Ingamells - Tape Piece; Sara Macqueen & Christopher Radford - Monkey Minds and Caldonia Walton - Weight/Wait.
Birmingham Royal Ballet bring the best of contemporary ballet with a programme called Polarity & Proximity which features Alexander Whitley’s Kin and Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room alongside a new commission from choreographer George Williamson as part of Ballet Now, Embrace.
The 2018 festival programme is inspired and curated around themes of imagination and digital art and reflects on the diversity of dancers’ bodies.
BIDF teams up with fierce to bring the Festival to a close with Club Fierce on Saturday 23 June.
Alongside the performance programme will be a series of professional and industry events, debates and workshops, creating a valuable space for dialogue, collaboration and sharing of ideas, as well as skills development.
Visit www.bidf.co.uk for more information.