May 14, 2012

Press Releases


Londoners take part in finale of the T-Mobile Big Dance 2010 on July 10, 2010 in London, England. Today's 'Big World Dance', involving thousands of dancers, is the climax of over 850 dance events that have taken place in the captial over the last 9 days. The T-Mobile Big Dance 2010, is London's Legacy Trust UK programme led by the Mayor of London in partnership with Arts Council England.

Londoners take part in finale of the T-Mobile Big Dance 2010 on July 10, 2010 in London, England. Today's 'Big World Dance', involving thousands of dancers, is the climax of over 850 dance events that have taken place in the captial over the last 9 days. The T-Mobile Big Dance 2010, is London's Legacy Trust UK programme led by the Mayor of London in partnership with Arts Council England. Photograph Getty Images




The international programme for Big Dance 2012, the world’s largest and most influential dance festival, was announced today, which will run from 18 May to 15 July 2012, including a series of British Council school partnerships across the world reaching over half a million schoolchildren in 53 countries in the warm-up to the Big Dance Week (7-15 July).

With the backdrop of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Big Dance has taken root as a festival in both Beijing and Rio in partnership with the British Council, alongside the huge range of events taking place across the whole of the UK.

In support of Big Dance Beijing, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance have undertaken a residency working with Beijing City Contemporary Dance Company, and Artistic Director Teng Aimin led by Beijing Olympic Development Association. In Rio, their residency is hosted by the Centro Coreográfico da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro on behalf of the Secretaria de Cultura – Prefeitura da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, who are taking the lead to deliver Big Dance Rio. Big Street Dance Day on 14 July will see Beijing, London and Rio share the limelight with celebrations of dance in public spaces on all three cities and across the UK, with Trafalgar Square as the main stage.

The UK programme of over 500 events is part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. Among the highlights of this wealth of dance in every part of the country are:

Big Dance Schools Pledge
18 May 1 pm
(British Summer Time)
Big Dance Schools Pledge is a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest simultaneous multi venue dance routine, taking place in over 2,000 schools representing over 500,000 school children in 53 countries, organised in association with the British Council. The five-minute dance has been choreographed by Wayne McGregor CBE to specially created music by Joel Cadbury and Scanner.

Your Move
18 May – 15 July
The Your Move public blog project will be a rich resource of 60 days of photographed movement from everyday life. To mark the launch of the Big Dance countdown, the blog goes live with user photographs on 18 May. Participants are invited to add photographs every day during Big Dance, from phones, cameras or computers, capturing movement observed on a daily basis.

Dancing Streets
22 June
Woolwich, London
Greenwich Dance brings General Gordon Square and the streets of Woolwich to life with dance workshops and performances. Free

Tomorrow’s Men
30 June
Canary Wharf, London
An all-male, high-energy, athletic new performance that fuses street dance, hip-hop, contemporary dance and acrobatics, with a political bite. Over 100 young men from across east London have been working with a team of professional male dance artists, creating this ambitious outdoor production, presented as part of Greenwich & Docklands International Festival’s Dancing City.

Big Dance Week Launch
5 July
Launch of Big Dance Week across the nation, with a day of live performance across the whole site of St Pancras International Station and the surrounding site in King’s Cross.

Big Dance Big Top Tent
5-9 July
Old Royal Naval College
English National Ballet, Greenwich Dance and The Royal Borough of Greenwich will hold five days of dance in the surroundings of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Over the course of the week, there will be professional masterclasses, workshops, schools’ showcase, performances, tea dance, cabarets and more. Each night brings the stars of the UK’s three national dance companies, English National Ballet, National Dance Company Wales and Scottish Ballet into collaboration, for Dance GB.

Big Dance Shorts
7/15 July
TV, UK wide
Five brand new short films in association with BAFTA screen on Channel 4.

Big Youth Dance Weekend
7/8 July
The Scoop at More London
The outdoor amphitheatre hosts 1,000 youth dance performers from across London for two days of free dance performances.

Big Street Dance Day
14 July
Big Street Dance Day, with performances in every major city culminating in a new dance piece for 1,000 dancers in Trafalgar Square created by Wayne McGregor. Working alongside members of his dance company, Wayne McGregor|Random Dance and in partnership with dance groups, emerging and professional dancers and choreographers from a range of dance backgrounds across London, this will be a spectacular finale for the Big Dance Festival.

Brazil Day
15 July
Marking the handover of Big Dance to the next Olympic city, Rio de Janeiro, Wandsworth Park will be turned into a celebration of Brazilian dance forms, Capoeira, film, music and attitude. Dance workshops and performances will be running throughout the day, culminating with a showing of the film ‘Rio’ from the Big Dance Pop-Up-Cinema screen.

Polonaise on the Pier
14 July
The Pier, Southend-on-Sea and The Pier, Sopot, Poland
Taking place simultaneously on both the longest pleasure pier in the world, based in Southend, and the longest wooden pier in Europe, based in Southend’s Polish twin town of Sopot, Polonaise on the Pier takes one of the most traditional and iconic Polish dances and turns it into a multi-national, multimedia event. The Polonaise will involve hundreds of members of the public, with the two events linked by live screens. Starting with a short masterclass by a London-based Polish dance group, Southend school children will then perform the dance across the whole length of the pier, accompanied by live traditional music. Audience members will then be invited to join, dancing far out to sea.
Hub Partner: Dance East

Splashdance Weekend
7 July – 8 July
National Watersports Centre, Nottingham
Splashdance Weekend is a virtuosic intervention into new spaces for dance, with spectacular live performance, family activities and dance cinema across the 270 rolling acres of the National Watersports Centre. Dance will defy convention across the Park’s 700m purpose built white-water course and 2km lake in the region’s flagship performance by the award-winning New Art Club (Pete Shenton and Tom Roden). Their creation will take inspiration from Olympic water sports and Team GB’s rowers, based around the 12 Labours of Hercules in a mad-medley of choreographed elegance and sporting prowess. Visitors are invited to stay over in their tents or caravans and enjoy the full two days of events.
Hub Partner: Dance 4

Dream Walk
30 June
So Festival 2012, Skegness, Lincolnshire
UK-based contemporary performance company Bodies in Flight will deliver a choreographed costal walk. Accessible for all ages the walk will explore the Lincolnshire’s beautiful costal district.
Bodies in Flight productions are often collaborations between performers, musicians and visual artists.
Hub Partner: Dance 4

A Grand Dance Out
10 June – 13 July
Throughout Alnwick, Northumberland
A collaborative outdoor dance performance featuring youth and community groups with live music and workshops, travelling on the Big Dance Routemaster London Bus to ten different locations over four days with over 150 dancers, bringing dance classes and professional performance to local people in back gardens, village greens and folk festivals. Created by Dansformation, the programme includes professional performance of excerpts from their new work Northumbriana, music by artists including traditional folk musician Alistair Anderson, and offers the opportunity for youth and community dance groups to hop on the bus and take their dance forms to new locations.
Hub Partner: Dance City

Urban Moves
27-29 July
Manchester city centre, Bolton and Bury
A three-day festival featuring live outdoor professional dance performance by local and international artists. Urban Moves celebrates the cityscape and architecture of Greater Manchester with its unique blend of dance and spectacle. The festival is renowned for its aerial dance performance and for the use of some unusual stages, from flowerbeds to fountains.
Hub Partner: Merseyside Dance Initiative.

The Caucus Race at Merton Fields
8 July
Christ Church Meadow, Oxford
An outdoor event appealing to all ages with dance, street theatre and music inspired by The Caucus Race in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Hub Partner: South East Dance

Desert Crossings
3 June and Wednesday 6 June: Exeter Respect Festival, Belmont Park
13 June  –  Saturday 14 July: Nothe Fort, Weymouth, Dorset
Performed by a company of five dancers from different cultural backgrounds, Desert Crossings reunites the original deserts of Africa and the UK through a journey of dance, text and music, examining common themes of landscape, location and shared memory. This is a collaboration between UK based producers, State of Emergency and South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma of Vuyani Dance Theatre, with an original score by Steve Marshall.
Hub Partner: Dance South West/Pavilion Dance

Landance in 2012
14 July – 15 July
Eggardon Hill, West Dorset
The remarkable Iron Age hill fort, Eggardon Hill, will be brought alive by a series of large-scale contemporary dance performances created by choreographer Anna Golding, with director and visual artist Ella Huhne, and music by award winning composer, Andrew Dickson. Professional dancers will combine with local community groups to produce this haunting and ecstatic performance.
Hub Partner: Dance South West/Pavilion Dance

18 May – 15 July
Touring the West Midlands
Shaun Parker, one of Australia’s most prominent dance artists, has created an innovative new system of choreography using children’s playground equipment – swings, slides, see-saws and roundabouts. With each outdoor performance involving up to 150 dancers, the outcome is highly playful and physical, combining quirky, dynamic dance with high energy street gymnastics, all within the community spaces of the children’s playground.
Hub Partner: DanceXchange

Mass Dance on the Beach
14 July
Bridlington Spa
Hull and East Riding host dance events throughout the day in the Spa Gardens ending with a specially commissioned mass dance on the beach.
Hub Partner: Yorkshire Dance

Big Dance Celebration: Yorkshire
15 July
Millennium Square, Leeds
The finale of the Big Dance programme in Yorkshire: a takeover of Millennium Square in Leeds for performances from some of the region’s most talented individuals, as well as nationally acclaimed companies, including Avant Garde Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Ponydance. Dance workshops and warm-ups will take place around the square, all leading up to a specially commissioned mass dance event, the ‘Yorkshire Flock’.
Hub Partner: Yorkshire Dance

Big Screen Big Dance
9 – 14 July
Eden Court, Inverness
A week of classes and workshops for all ages, taking inspiration from our most popular movies – including Billy Elliot, Chicago, West Side Story, Slumdog Millionaire and many more. There will be daily performances, re-creating movie dance classics in the Eastgate shopping centre. In addition Eden Court cinema will be showing some of these iconic dance movies plus some contemporary dance on film.
Hub Partner: Eden Court Theatre

Cardiff Mela
15 July
Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay
Attracting up to 30,000 visitors, the annual Cardiff Multicultural Mela has been running since 2007 with its celebration of dance, music, arts, fashion and food. In collaboration with Big Dance, this year’s Mela attempts the world record for largest ever Bollywood dance. The record-attempt will be coordinated from the main stage by a Bollywood Dance troupe, aiming to beat the current record held in Mumbai for 1,336 participants. Hub Partner: Dance Cymru/Wales Millennium Centre

More than a major biennial dance festival, Big Dance is a vibrant, high profile campaign to get everyone taking part – wherever they are, whatever their age, experience or ability. Over 2 million people have taken part in Big Dance since it began, with events taking place in unusual locations including shopping centres, parks, bridges, sports centres, beaches, bandstands, bunkers, swimming pools, schools, in streets and public squares and travelling events on the Big Dance Bus as well as in performance spaces all over London and the UK.

Big Dance in London, has been supported by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK and is delivered the Mayor of London and Arts Council England. A national programme is led by the Foundation for Community Dance and a network of 21 Big Dance Hubs: Citymoves, Dance City, Dance Cymru/Wales Millennium Centre, Dance South West/Pavilion Dance, Dance4, Dance Base, DanceEast, Dancehouse, DanceXchange, Dundee Dance Partnership, Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre, East London Dance, Eden Court Theatre, English National Ballet, Greenwich Dance, Macrobert Arts Centre, Merseyside Dance Initiative, Sadler’s Wells, Siobhan Davies Dance, South East Dance and Yorkshire Dance.

Jacqueline Rose said today:
“The sheer quality and scale of Big Dance is unique in the world and has been made possible through the extraordinary network of partners and funders that we are fortunate enough to have in the UK and through the creativity of Britain’s brilliant choreographers. We are proud that Big Dance has been so widely supported and adopted by colleagues around the world and most particularly for the support we have received from the British Council in Beijing and in Rio de Janeiro, both host cities of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, reflecting the values of creativity, friendship and community engagement that Big Dance stands for. “

Wayne McGregor
“This is the culmination of a year of creative work involving literally hundreds of choreographers, performers, schools and community groups. I have never worked on such a scale before. As we start to develop Big Dance with our colleagues in Beijing and in Rio, I hope we will see Big Dance become an enduring symbol of the power of dance to bring people together in every community in every part of the world.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
“In the year that London welcomes the world for the greatest show on earth, this year’s Big Dance is going truly global. In magnificent style it proves how popular dancing is, appealing to people of all ages and abilities. We are right behind this hugely popular event, which exemplifies the energy, excitement and creativity that attract visitors from around the world.”

Moira Sinclair, Executive Director, London of Arts Council England, said:
“The Big Dance is a remarkable example of just what can be achieved when arts organisations work together with a single aim. It started as an idea in London, spread across England and now is a truly international programme, involving millions of people of all backgrounds and experience. In our Olympic year, we are thrilled that the world is joining us in this celebration of dance.”

Moira Swinbank, Chief Executive of Legacy Trust UK, said:
“Legacy Trust UK is delighted with the scale and scope of Big Dance 2012. The project’s international reach will bring nations around the globe together through dance, and Big Dance in the UK will be an exciting and inspiring week of activity that we encourage everyone to get involved in, especially people who are new to dance. Big Dance will leave a lasting legacy for everyone involved, both in the UK and overseas, and is one of the real highlights of the London 2012 Festival.”

Ruth Mackenzie, London 2012 Festival Director, said:
“The success of Big Dance as a Cultural Olympiad project in reaching millions of people is a testament to the organisers and funders. The ambition to reach out to communities across the UK and around the world this summer matches our vision for a UK wide celebration that welcomes the world. I’m delighted that Big Dance will be a highlight of this summer of celebration in the London 2012 Festival”

Paul Docherty, Director UK 2012, said:
“The vision, when London won the Games in 2005, was to reach young people all around the world and connect them with the inspirational power of the Games. The British Council is delighted to work with Big Dance to help achieve this vision through dance. We have seen across the world the enormous appeal of Big Dance. The Big Dance School Pledge on 18th May will reach over half a million schoolchildren in 53 countries. This is an extraordinary testament to the global appeal of the Big Dance idea. I’d like to thank all of our partners in Beijing, Rio and around the world who are participating in the Big Dance Schools Pledge.”

Jacqueline Rose took up the role of Big Dance Director in April 2009. Prior to this, she was Senior Cultural Strategy Officer at the Greater London Authority, from 2005. In 2006, she was responsible for creating the vision, developing the strategy for implementation, and the delivery of the first and second Big Dance. With a significant professional career and academic background in dance, she was a senior dance policy-maker from 1996 – 2005 at London Arts Board and Arts Council England and other local authorities including Rushmoor Borough Council; the implementer of creative strategic initiatives for the dance sector including:, London Youth Dance Network and the Independent Dance Managers Network (IDMN), a teacher of contemporary and creative dance for adults, students, young people & toddlers and a dance lecturer at Reading University.

Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi award-winning British choreographer and director, internationally renowned for his commissions across ballet, opera, musical theatre and film. He is Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, and Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet (appointed 2006). McGregor’s work has earned him three Critics’ Circle Awards, two Time Out Awards, a South Bank Show Award, a Golden Mask Award and an Olivier.  In January 2011 he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for Services to Dance. McGregor has created works for La Scala, Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre and New York City Ballet among others. His upcoming productions include new works for San Francisco Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet (2013) and a large-scale public dance work, Big Dance Trafalgar Square, in celebration of the London 2012 Olympics (2012).


1.     ‘Big Dance is London’s Legacy Trust UK programme delivered by the Mayor of London and Arts Council England. A national programme is co-ordinated by Foundation for Community Dance and is supported by major organisations including: Creative Scotland, Sport England, NHS London, London Councils, Youth Dance England, Council for Dance Education and Training, Dance Champions, Sport and Recreation Alliance and the British Council. Big Dance is one of the world’s biggest and most influential dance initiative delivered through a network of the UK’s leading dance organisations: Citymoves, Dance City, Dance Cymru/Wales Millennium Centre, Dance South West, Dance4, Dance Base, DanceEast, Dancehouse, DanceXchange, Dundee Dance Partnership, Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre, East London Dance, Eden Court Theatre, English National Ballet, Greenwich Dance, Macrobert Arts Centre, Merseyside Dance Initiative, Sadler’s Wells, Siobhan Davies Dance, South East Dance and Yorkshire Dance

2.    Legacy Trust UK is an independent charity whose mission is to support a wide range of innovative cultural and sporting activities, which celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and will leave a lasting legacy in communities throughout the UK.  Legacy Trust UK is funded by a £40 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund (£29m), Department for Culture Media and Sport (£6m) and Arts Council England (£5m), and is a Principal Funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival.

3.    As part of his commitment to a lasting legacy for London following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Mayor aims to support increased access to and participation in sport and cultural activities across the capital. ‘Cultural Metropolis’ set outs the Mayor’s strategy for supporting arts and culture in the capital and is out for public consultation. ‘A Sporting Future for London’, published last year, sets out the Mayor’s vision to create a fitter, healthier, more active London, backed up by a £15.5 million investment in grass-roots sport.

4.    Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
5.    The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements.  Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people. The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.  The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummers Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival. For more details on the programme, to download the London 2012 Festival official guide and to sign up for information.

Dance Takes the Lead Group is an informal consortium of organisations that have come together to make a collective response to the opportunities presented by the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad for the dance sector. The group is led by Foundation for Community Dance, with Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET), Sport and Recreation Alliance, The Dance Champions Group and Youth Dance England. Other members include Akademi, for the South Asian Dance Alliance SADA; Association of Dance of the African Diaspora; Community Dance Wales; Dance UK; English Folk Dance and Song Society; Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership: Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing; National Association of Local Government Officers; National Dance Network; Royal Academy of Dance; Voluntary Arts and Y Dance (Scotland).

7.    Foundation for Community Dance (FCD) is the strategic development organisation for community dance in the UK and internationally, and leads the delivery of the Big Dance national programme – wrapping around activities in London. FCD believes that dance can transform the lives of individuals and communities. Their vision is for a world where dance is part of everyone’s life, and mission to make engagement with dance important to individuals, communities and society. FCD works with, and on behalf of artists, organisations and teachers who lead, deliver or support community and participatory dance.
8.   The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.  We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of nearly £700 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%.  We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.

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