Leading artists from around the world head up first commissions for the London 2012 Festival

December 7, 2010

Ballet, Press Releases

Tamrara, Balleet, Roh, ROyal ballet

Tamara Rojo Photography throughout : Bex Singleton

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Today an announcement from The Royal Opera House heralds the first group of commissions and special projects for the London 2012 Festival – and The Royal Ballet are included.

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Tamara & the Hip Hop dancers

Please see attached iPad painting created specially for today’s announcement by David Hockney. His exhibition will be at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2012.
Sent from his iPad


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Message from David Hockney Painting Copyright : David Hockney

Cate Blanchett, Toni Morrison, Olafur Eliasson, David Hockney, Mike Leigh, Jude Law and Damon Albarn, Rufus Norris & Jamie Hewlett head the line-up of artists featured in the first group of commissions and special projects for the London 2012 Festival announced today. The finale of the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival will be a 12-week UK-wide cultural celebration. Opening on Midsummer’s Day 21 June 2012 and running until the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012, the Festival will provide an outstanding summer of arts and creativity in the UK.    

Leading artists from all over the world will come together for a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation, and leave a lasting legacy for the arts in the UK.   

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Over 1,000 events will be featured on a special website which will go live from Summer 2011. The aim is for over three million people to attend and be part of London 2012 Festival. Some of the events will be ticketed, some will be free to attend, and further information on ticketing, pricing and promotional plans will be provided next year in the build up to the first tickets going on sale in October 2011.    The line-up of artists announced today includes commissions to a Nobel Prize winner, a Brit Award winner, two Turner Prize winners, an Academy Award winner, a Golden Globe winner and three BAFTA Award winners.

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The visual arts include special commissions in development by  contemporary artists Rachel Whiteread and Olafur Eliasson, as well as major exhibitions by David Hockney and Lucian Freud. There will also be a new sound work by Martin Creed.

London 2012 has brought together BBC Films and Film 4 to co-commission a selection of short films that showcase great UK film-making talent. There will be four short films commissioned, including an original film by Mike Leigh featuring Eddie Marsan, Sam Kelly and Samantha Spiro, and a new film from the Street Dance 3D team Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini. Further commissions will be announced in 2011. As part of the Festival’s film strand, there will also be a special commission to Mark Cousins.

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 The opening event of the London 2012 Festival will be a Peace One Day production in Derry~Londonderry, produced by Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley and Peace One Day ambassador Jude Law; The music programme also includes a new work from Damon Albarn, Rufus Norris and Jamie Hewlett; the UK premiere of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s legendary Einstein on the Beach with choreography by Lucinda Childs; a new work by award-winning classical composer James MacMillan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Coventry Cathedral; a new collaboration from Toni Morrison, Rokia Traoré and Peter Sellars; a specially commissioned touring event by music collective Africa Express; River of Music, a series of concerts for over 500,000 people at landmark sites along the River Thames will feature outstanding musicians from 205 countries and will also feature presentations outside London at the Sage Gateshead and Celtic Connections in Glasgow; and a major outdoor music event in East London led by BBC Radio 1.   

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For the theatre programme, one of Europe’s most distinguished directors, Luc Bondy directs an all-Australian cast in Martin Crimp’s new adaptation of German playwright Botho Strauss’ masterpiece, ‘Gross und Klein’, featuring Cate Blanchett and the Sydney Theatre Company; and with MP3 players and mobile phones, audiences will go on a fascinating journey around Stratford in an award-winning new work by the Theatre Royal Stratford East. The World Shakespeare Festival, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, will celebrate Shakespeare as the world’s playwright, with partners including the Roundhouse, the Barbican, the National Theatre, the BBC, and National Theatre Wales, Iraqi Theatre Company based in Baghdad and Companhia Bufomecanica from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, all three of whom have productions in development. The festival will also feature a Shakespeare exhibition at the British Museum, details of which will be announced next year.  

Dance projects include Akram Khan returning to his roots at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance where he studied and will work again with the post-graduate performance company Verve 12; a Pina Bausch Retrospective from Tanztheater Wuppertal at Sadler’s Wells and the Barbican; a collaboration between the National Gallery and The Royal Ballet called Metamorphosis: Titian 2012; and Big Dance led by the Mayor of London and Arts Council England, which is being rolled out UK-wide in 2012 by Foundation for Community Dance & Dance Takes the Lead.  

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Poetry Parnassus created by the Southbank Centre with Simon Armitage will bring together acclaimed poets from all the Olympic and Paralympic nations for a week of presentations; and at the new Brighton Museum and Art Gallery young people will curate displays of the collection which focus on Brighton’s connections with the rest of the world. The director Deborah Warner will create an extraordinary coastal installation around the UK in collaboration with actor Fiona Shaw and creative producers Artichoke, presented with support from Derry~Londonderry and the Roundhouse; and there is a commission to UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton led by Keith Khan.Details of how the BBC Proms and Edinburgh Festivals will work with the London 2012 Festival will be announced when their programmes launch in 2012. Further programme announcements will be made next year about events relating to other art forms including comedy, fashion, food and digital innovation.   

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Principal funders of the London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the London 2012 Festival.   

Tony Hall, Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board said: ‘This is an exciting first group of commissions for the London 2012 Festival and there is much more to come which will be announced next year. Leading artists from all over the world will come together for a wonderful finale of the Cultural Olympiad. 2012 is going to be a stupendous summer of sports and arts – the whole of the UK in celebration.’   

Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad, said: ‘From June 21st to September 9th 2012, across the whole of the UK, new work from the best artists, musicians, writers, comedians, film makers and other creative talent will be presented in the largest festival in the country. From food to fashion, street dance to digital, from pop to opera, the festival will offer once in a lifetime chance to be inspired by the best in the world.’   

Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey said: ‘Today an invitation has gone out to the UK and to people across the world to join an extraordinary, inspirational party.  Plans for the London 2012 Festival capture the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They are exciting, ambitious and diverse and this is only the beginning. With millions of tickets, hundreds of thousands of them free, the London 2012 Festival really will be a chance for everyone to celebrate.’   

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: ‘We’ve less than 600 days to the start of the greatest sporting show on Earth and want to match it with a cultural programme that is also memorable and exciting. The calibre of the people announced today – from London, the UK and abroad – underlines the ambition of the London 2012 Festival. It will be a series of fantastic events to mark an unforgettable year in London’s history.’  

Sebastian Coe, London 2012 Chair, said: ‘The London 2012 Festival is an incredible, UK-wide opportunity to be part of 2012. Artistic talent from the UK and every continent will be part of this once-in-a-lifetime celebration. 2012 will be a magical summer and the Festival will play a huge part in ensuring everyone can be part of the greatest show on Earth.’   

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The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008, over 11 million people all over the UK have participated in or attended performances as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes inspired by London 2012 and funded by our principal funders and sponsors. Over 65,000 people have attended 6,800 workshops as part of the Cultural Olympiad programmes.    

This includes over 660,000 visitors to the National Portrait Gallery to see the annual National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 and BP Portrait Award exhibitions including participants in the new BP Portrait Award Next Generation project; 2.4 million participants in Open Weekend since 2008; and 1.2 million participants in Big Dance 2010.    

Over 6,000 children aged 5-13 have attended Tate Movie Project workshops around the country, whilst the Tate Movie Project website has had more than 300,000 page views in just 5 months, with 16,000 children signing up to be movie crew members and sending in 36,000 ideas for the film so far.      

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More than 1,100 14-25 year olds have attended Film Nation: Shorts workshops and there are now 1,000 young curators working in museums across the UK as part of the Stories of the World project.   

On Thursday 9 December young film-makers shortlisted for the first Film Nation: Shorts awards in partnership with Panasonic will attend a special award ceremony hosted by exciting figures from the worlds of film, TV and sport at the IMAX Cinema, Millennium Point in Birmingham. One young film maker from each of the 9 categories will win the opportunity for their short film to be shown at the iconic sporting venues during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.   

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PRS for Music Foundation will announce on Friday 10 December the twenty new works commissioned to feature centre stage of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad for ‘New Music 20×12’. Each last 12 minutes and together they offer a snapshot of the quality and diversity of new music in the UK. Each piece will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and tour the UK – ensuring as many people as possible have the opportunity to enjoy excellent new music as part of the celebrations in 2012.   

Unlimited, the UK’s largest programme celebrating arts, culture and sport by disabled and deaf people, has already commissioned 10 artists from across the UK to produce a wide range of work including street arts, theatre, visual arts, site specific and dance. This has resulted in a Herald Angel award for Private Dancer by Janice Parker at this year’s Edinburgh Festival (the first time in history this award has been given to disabled artists). In January 2011 we will announce a further funding to commission original work to celebrate 2012 engaging artists from both the UK and for the first time artist from around the world.  

 In Spring 2011 the BBC will announce details on Music Nation, a celebration of the richness and diversity of the musical life of the UK which will see orchestras playing from the northern most parts of Scotland to Lands End, from 5,000 children making music in Manchester to choirs in London’s Roundhouse and young musicians performing a new commission in a former textile mill in Bradford.  

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Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: ‘These are wonderful, breathtaking events that will make 2012 celebration of the arts something to remember. From a new work by Damon Albarn to the biggest ever retrospective of the unique work of Pina Bausch, these are special things and we are proud to be part of making them happen.’   

Dugald Mackie, Chair of Legacy Trust UK, said: ‘The programmes we are funding in communities across the UK are creating a cultural, sporting and educational legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Today’s announcement is an exciting addition to those programmes. It will strongly enhance the cultural activity which is already taking place in the run up to the Games, demonstrating that London 2012 goes beyond sport. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase the UK to millions of people across the world, as well as provide a spur to people across the UK to become involved in activities which invoke the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.’   

Olympic Lottery Distributor Chair, Rt Hon Dame Janet Paraskeva DBE, said: ‘The Olympic Lottery Distributor is supporting the Cultural Olympiad so that everyone across the UK can get involved in London 2012, whether sport or culture is their interest. It is great to hear about some of the things that are happening around the country and even more exciting to see the plans being developed for London 2012 Festival.’   

Peter Mather, Regional Vice President, Europe, and Head of Country, UK, BP said: ‘BP is delighted to be a Premier Partner of the London 2012 Festival. We have already seen many exceptional projects developed as part of the Cultural Olympiad so far, including the BP-supported Tate Movie Project, London 2012 Open Weekend and BP Portrait Award: Next Generation. We look forward to further celebrating the UK’s artistic excellence in what promises to be a world-class and memorable finale in 2012.’

Suzi Williams, Director, BT Group Marketing and Brand, says, ‘BT’s role in London 2012 is so much more than delivering the most connected Games ever. BT is also passionate about telling the human stories at the heart of the Games and enabling everyone to be the best they can be. That’s why we support the Cultural Olympiad and are building initiatives like The Road to 2012 Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The London 2012 Festival will be an exciting and inspiring moment for the nation, and we’re proud to be a part of it.’

Panasonic UK Sponsorship Manager, David Bonney said: ‘Panasonic is delighted to be the presenting partner of the Cultural Olympiad initiative Film Nation: Shorts. We are looking forward to helping to identify new film-making talent in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games through engaging young people in the craft of film-making, and seeing their talents recognised through regional and national competitions. The summer of 2012 is going to  be a very special experience and we are excited about celebrating both the sporting achievements of Great Britain and the Cultural Olympiad achievements, through honouring the accomplishments of the talented young film-makers taking part in Film Nation: Shorts.’   

Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival: ‘2012 brings opportunities galore. The dates are a perfect coincidence of timing between the greatest sporting and greatest cultural event which may never again happen in our lifetime. In 2012 the Edinburgh International Festival will play its part in an even bigger celebration of culture and sporting talent. Today’s announcement demonstrates the scale and scope of the Cultural Olympiad and when we announce our partnership projects for 2012 that canvas will grow even bigger.’

About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival
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.    

Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 11.2million people from across the UK have participated in or attended public performances as part of the Cultural Olympiad and programmes inspired by 2012 and funded by our principle funders and sponsors. Over 67,000 people have attended 6,800 workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes.   

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in the UK’s biggest ever festival – a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation and leave a lasting legacy for the arts in this country.   

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.    

The British Council will support the international development of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad projects.

Panasonic are the presenting partner of Film Nation: Shorts.    

Click on the link for more details about London 2012.

As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners – adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now nineteen domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, GSK, Gymnova, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, Next, The Nielsen Company, Populous, Technogym, Ticketmaster and Trident.    There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games Partner, Sainsbury’s.   The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.

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7 Responses to “Leading artists from around the world head up first commissions for the London 2012 Festival”

  1. Rachel @ Inspiration in Italy Says:

    Wow, this sounds phenomenal. The elite of the elite! xoxo

  2. Audrey Allure Says:

    It sounds awesome!

  3. lori vliegen Says:

    this festival will be magnificent……a true celebration of artists and their art!!! xox

  4. Casey V Says:

    This is a trully brilliant idea!

  5. Jude Says:

    This sounds amazing! Haha, why are all the cool artistic things happening when I’m NOT living there 🙂 I also love the gorgeous pictures of Tamara Rojo doing what she does best!

  6. Valeria Cabedo Says:

    I adore the ballet and want to manage to be to ballerina of classic dance. Tamara Rojo is an example for my 🙂
    I am Spanish.


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