MAYOR OF LONDON LAUNCHES BIG DANCE 2012

July 6, 2012

Press Releases

MAYOR OF LONDON LAUNCHES BIG DANCE 2012

Kate Prince sets the nation dancing

St Pancras Station the stage for dancers from every part of the UK

Part of the London 2012 Festival

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, joins rush hour commuters on the platform of St Pancras International Station, to launch Big Dance 2012, the world’s biggest dance festival, part of London 2012 Festival at St Pancras Station on July 5, 2012 in London, England. Photograph : Ben Pruchnie

Today, dancers from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and from across England, converged on the platforms of St Pancras International Station for the Mayor of London’s official launch of Big Dance 2012, the UK’s biggest celebration of dance.

Kate Prince, whose work includes the hit West End show, Some Like it Hip Hop, headlined a whole day of dance, with dancers on stages around the main concourse of St Pancras International. At 10am the main stage was launched by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, with dance legend, Arlene Phillips.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, joins rush hour commuters on the platform of St Pancras International Station, to launch Big Dance 2012, the world's biggest dance festival, part of London 2012 Festival at St Pancras Station on July 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images for Bolton And Quinn)

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, joins rush hour commuters on the platform of St Pancras International Station, to launch Big Dance 2012, the world’s biggest dance festival, part of London 2012 Festival at St Pancras Station on July 5, 2012 in London, England. Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

Big Dance 2012 is one of the largest mass participation events being presented as part of the London 2012 Festival, and part of the Mayor of London’s programme of free events taking place across the capital.

From 7–15 July, Big Dance will be spreading across the nation in a week of dance-inspired projects and high-profile mass performances. Big Dance is characterised by a strong emphasis on participation; some of the UK’s most renowned and innovative choreographers will be interacting with local dance groups and members of the public in venues ranging from public squares and shopping centres, to parks, playgrounds, beaches, bridges, studios and swimming pools. Over 2 million people have taken part in Big Dance since it began; this year it is set to reach millions more as Big Dance expands nationwide.

Arlene Phillips talking to a crowd of dancers

Arlene Phillips Photograph : Ben Pruchnie

Big Dance is co-ordinated across the UK by a network of leading national dance organisations, the Big Dance Hubs. Skegness will have dancers and musicians swirling across its coastal district in Dream Walk, the cityscape of Greater Manchester will scattered with aerial dance performers in Urban Moves. On 14 July, Big Dance will reach a crescendo with Big Street Dance Day: 1000 dancers will gather in Trafalgar Square to perform a new piece by celebrated choreographer Wayne McGregor inspired by the Olympic Games, and across the country performers and the public will be gathering in town centres and squares for their own Big Street Dance.

Big Dance 2012 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.

Big Dance is delivered by the Mayor of London, Arts Council England and the Foundation for Community Dance, with a network of Big Dance Hubs; leading dance organisations around the UK. In London, Big Dance has been funded 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, with additional support from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts.

As Big Dance is passed on to Rio de Janeiro for 2014, it looks to maintain a lasting legacy of community dance in Britain. Dance companies and individuals will be inspired by the cohesive power of dance, bringing communities together and promoting fitness, creativity, and self-expression.

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