South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2013 nominees announced


TX: 14 March, Sky Arts 1 HD, 9.30pm

The nominees are announced today for the South Bank Sky Arts Awards, the only awards ceremony to celebrate the UK’s towering achievements across all genres of the arts over the past year.

The 2012 Olympics not only brought a huge amount of joy and sporting accolades to the country, but also invigorated the UK’s art scene. The Olympic Velodrome, designed by Hopkins Architects, and the Olympic Cauldron by Thomas Heatherwick, have both been nominated in the best visual arts category.

The awards are one of the world’s most coveted arts awards, celebrating the best of British culture and achievement across visual art, theatre, opera, dance, comedy, classical   music, pop, TV drama, literature and film. Melvyn Bragg will once again act as editor and master of ceremonies at the event on Tuesday 12 March at the Dorchester.

“2012 was a remarkably fine year for British achievement not least in British art, by British artists,” comments Melvyn Bragg.   “Arriving at this shortlist was a tough jobf or our judges.  We are proud of this world class list of nominees which recognise and honour the best talent at work in the UK today.” 

“What a tremendous shortlist for this, the third year of The South Bank Sky Arts Awards, which continue to grow from strength to strength,” comments James Hunt, channel director of Sky Arts. “We are incredibly proud of this opportunity to live the motto of our channel which is to   celebrate the best of the arts.”

The judges of this year’s South Bank Sky Arts Awards are Gilly Greenwood, Chair, Peter Aspden, Arts Correspondent of Financial Times; Baz Bamigboye, Entertainment Columnist & Arts Reviewer of Daily Mail; Richard Brooks, Arts Editor of The Sunday Times;  Sarah Donaldson, Arts Editor of The Observer; Manisha Ferdinand, Head of PR Sky Arts & Sky Movies; Boyd Hilton, TV & Reviews Editor of Heat Magazine; Alex O’Connell, Arts & Entertainment Editor of The Times; and Archie Powell, Documentary Filmmaker.

This year, the South Bank Sky Arts award itself is designed and created by Livvy Fink, a masters student studying ceramics & glass at the Royal College of Art. Livvy was selected to create the new award in collaboration with the Royal College of Art.

SOUTH BANK SKY ARTS AWARDS 2013: Dance nominees

 A Streetcar Named Desire, Scottish Ballet

Jeux, English National Ballet

Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, Royal Ballet & National Gallery


South Bank Show

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards (Previously the South   Bank Show Awards) are now in their 16th year and are still the only awards   ceremony in the world that represent the entire spectrum of British arts,   from visual arts to opera, television drama to dance, film to literature. In   addition to the 10 main categories, there are also two special awards: The   Times Breakthrough Award, voted for by Times readers, which recognises up and   coming talent across the arts, and The Dorchester Outstanding Achievement   Award which celebrates an individual’s extraordinary contribution to the   arts.

The awards, which are   presented by Melvyn Bragg at The Dorchester, always attract an eclectic mix   of people. Previous attendees include Ronnie Wood, J K Rowling, Sir Ian McKellen,   Darcey Bussell, Dame Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Sir Tom Stoppard, Rachel   Weisz, Russell Brand,, Damien Hirst, and Sir Richard Attenborough.


Sky Arts

Sky Arts offers an   eclectic mix of the best music, arts, biographies, chat shows, film, drama   and comedy. Sky is the only broadcaster in the UK and Ireland with channels   dedicated solely to the arts, with 48 hours of the best arts content from   around the world across Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts 2 daily. Sky Arts now   reaches more than 6 million viewers every month.

Recent highlights   include Playhouse Presents… a series of one-off comedies and dramas starring   renowned talent including Jon Hamm, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Thompson, Sir Tom   Jones, Brenda Blethyn, David Tennant and Alison Steadman. The channel was   also responsible for resurrecting the much-loved South Bank Show and The   South Bank Show Awards. Sky Arts also encourages new formats and methods for   accessing the arts, working with the ENO and National Gallery to beam the   world’s first live opera and first live opening night of an exhibition in 3D   to cinemas across the UK and Ireland.

Sky Arts also seeks to   connect with culture on the ground; creating and collaborating with the best   of the arts in the UK and Ireland to bring new experiences to life. Sky Arts   has collaborated with a number of arts organisations including the English   National Ballet and has supported the Hay Festival as broadcast partner since   2006. The Sky Arts Ignition Series launched in in 2011 to invest in the arts   landscape of the UK. The Series will seek to collaborate with six arts organisations   over the next three years in the creation of brand new works; Sky Arts   Ignition Series: Futures Fund will support five young artists with a bursary   of £30,000 each, enabling Sky Arts to back the creation of new works of art   as well as nurture emerging talent.

Ballet News Previews : Imagine Dancing with Tititan

Titian painting

Ballet News Previews : Imagine, Dancing with Tititan

Titian painting
Photograph : BBC Pictures

The Royal Ballet’s recent run of Metamorphosis : Titian 2012 is the subject of a documentary screened tomorrow evening as part of Imagine on BBC One.

Going backstage to the start of the collaborative process instigated by out-going Artistic Director Monica Mason, the programme looks at each of the three collaborations and how each ballet was put together. Three visual artists work with several choreographers and dancers from The Royal Ballet to produce Machina (Kim Brandstrup and Wayne McGregor with Conrad Shawcross’s robot design), Trespass (Alastair Marriott and Christopher Wheeldon with a mirror set design by conceptual artist Mark Wallinger) and Diana and Actaeon (Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins with set design by Chris Ofili).

Ovid’s poem inspired Titian to paint scenes of Diana, the Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon, and in this series of three paintings you can see the three scenes that become the backdrop for the three new ballets : Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeon and the painting most recently acquired by The National Gallery, Diana and Callisto – which depict stories from Ovid’s epic poem ‘Metamorphoses’.

Wayne McGregor, The Royal Ballet’s resident choreographer, has worked with visual artists before, but there are two firsts here.  Carlos Acosta works with him, and McGregor has to collaborate with another choreographer – in this case Kim Brandstrup. It’s a challenge on both fronts but one that is taken by the scruff of the neck and the problems are overcome – after all the essence of creativity is problem solving.

There are some funny moments.  Jonathan Watkins says of the process of Titian 2012, “it really isn’t normal.”  Presenter Alan Yentob says of the ‘Diana’ robot created by Conrad Shawcross “I can’t wait to see Carlos Acosta meeting his new dance partner.”  Chris Olifi has a refreshing attitude. When faced with his massive blank canvas over 40 metres tall and 70ft wide saying “sometimes it’s nice to do something where you don’t have a back-up plan. Okay. It’s true failure.  But I truly tried.”  In his vision, the forest intoxicated Actaeon long before he spies the nymphs bathing with Diana, and Olifi says of the moment when Actaeon crashes the party, “well, there must have been a moment when he thought ‘I’m a good-looking guy, they’re not going to refuse me.'” In the end, it was anything but a failure!

There is rehearsal footage – of Marianela Nunez absolutely at the top of her game, dancing with Federico Bonelli, of Ed Watston dueting with Carlos Acosta and the robot along with Leanne Benjamin, and Tamara Rojo working on Kim Brandstrup’s piece. Ed Watson is required to undergo motion capture, so that the robot will be able to take on his dance characteristics and dance with Acosta in the finished piece.

Mark Wallinger is altogether more secretive about his work; a former Turner prize winner he has worked with Titian before, creating an x-ray of the painting of Actaeon. He tweeted for ‘Diana’s’ to come to his studio and besides some rehearsal footage of his dancers, that’s all we know of his work at the time of this preview. The finished programme will contain footage from the performances themselves.


Imagine – Dancing with Tititan is broadcast on BBC One on 24th July at 10.35pm


Visit the exhibition at The National Gallery 

Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 a unique collaboration with The Royal Ballet

11 July – 23 September 2012

Sainsbury Wing Exhibition

Admission free

The Royal Ballet | Metamorphosis: Titian 2012

ballet dancers on stage

The Royal Ballet | Metamorphosis: Titian 2012

ballet dancers on stage
Tresspass Photograph Johan Persson courtesy of the ROH

Currently in rep at the Royal Opera House, Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 is a unique collaboration set up by the Royal Ballet’s out-going Artistic Director Monica Mason as a bold way of looking to the future of dance (though she is not actually ‘leaving’ and will return next season part time as a coach).

Marianela Nunez sits on the stage
Marianela Nunez in Diana and Actaeon Photograph : Johan Persson/ courtesy of the ROH

The three ballets are inspired by Titian’s paintings : Machina (Kim Brandstrup and Wayne McGregor with Conrad Shawcross’s robot design), Trespass (Alastair Marriott and Christopher Wheeldon with a mirror set design by conceptual artist Mark Wallinger) and Diana and Actaeon (Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins with set design by Chris Ofili).

ballet dancer in orange tights
Marianela Nunez in Diana and Actaeon Photograph : Johan Persson/courtesy of the ROH

There are two performances left; tonight (where there are a handful of tickets left, priced between £81 and £95) and Friday 20th July (which is currently sold out but check with the box office for returns).

Trespass, Beatriz Stix-Brunell & Nehemiah Kish Photograph : Johan Persson/ courtesy of the ROH

Casting for both performances are : Seligman, Wordsworth, Grier, Benjamin, Rojo, Acosta, Watson, Stix-Brunell, Lamb, Hamilton.

two ballet dancers on stage
Carlos Acosta and Leanne Benjamin in Machina Photograph : Johan Persson/courtesy of the ROH

Leading international artists surprise in London 2012 Festival events across the UK

Leading international artists surprise in London 2012 Festival events across the UK


10 July 2012 – Wayne McGregor, Compagnie Carabosse, Gilles Peterson, Sébastien Tellier, Shobana Jeyasingh, Hofesh Shechter, Kronos Quartet, Oscar Muñoz in unusual places; and Alan Ayckbourn, Jeremy Irons, Julie Walters, Tom Hiddleston, Richard Eyre, Soweto Kinch, Chris Ofili, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Rachel Gadsden also among the stars of London 2012 Festival’s fourth week


In the fourth week of the London 2012 festival, great artists in unusual places pop up throughout theweek around the UK in Festival events, many of them free, including the UK wide programme of Big Dance inviting everybody to join in. In partnership with our cultural institutions, great new commissions with celebrated international artists open in theatres, concert halls and on TV.


Art in Unusual Places:


Big Dance 2012 is the biggest dance yet, engaging millions of people across the whole of the UK for the first time with a week of dance-inspired projects and high-profile mass performances culminating on 15 July.  Performances from some of the greatest names in dance are brought together with vibrant new talent, and events for everyone to participate in venues ranging from public square andshopping centres, to parks, playgrounds, beaches, bridges, studios and swimming pools.  Among the programme highlights is Big Street Dance Day on 14 July, which sees celebrations of dance in publicspaces across the UK. In London’s Trafalgar Square, 1,000 performers from 30 London groups will perform a new dance piece by Wayne McGregor, based on the Olympic values of community and participation. Commissioned films from Big Dance Beijing and Big Dance Rio will also be broadcast in the Square.  U.Dance 2012 at Southbank Centre sees the best of UK youth dance and presents the premiere of a new UK-wide youth dance company led by choreographer Hofesh Shechter. Throughout the week, five specially commissioned short films by rising young choreographers including Kate Prince, Ben Duke, Ponciano Almeida, StruanLeslie and Pete Shenton & TomRoden of New Art Club will also be screened on Channel 4 and to live audiences across the country. On the final day of Big Dance 2012, Cardiff’s multicultural Mela attempts the world record for the largest ever Bollywooddance in the UK.


Fire Garden at Stonehenge, created by French outdoor fire alchemists Compagnie Carabosse, will see one of Britain’s best known World Heritage sites, Stonehenge, transformed into a glowing fairy-tale environment where fire sculptures dance in the landscape, flaming fire pots animate the stones and cascades of candles line the pathways.  Responding to the purpose, perception and heritage of the site, visitors will pass between concentric circles of flames and huge fire balls that mark calendar positions. The spectacular immersivesite-specific installation of fire and sound will light up Stonehenge for three consecutive nights (10 July – 12 July 2012).


Eurostar presents Traction brings together music, dance and arts performers from across Europe for a special one-day festival curated by internationally renowned DJ Gilles Peterson. The acts include German jazz techno ensemble Brandt Brauer Frick, Mercury prize nominee Ghostpoet, Congolese-born Belgian Baloji, Holland’s funky jazz artist Benny Sings, and Parisian singer-songwriter Sébastien Tellier, and have been chosen to celebrate the diversity of European talent on London’s doorstep. The festival will be the first event to take place in London’s newest creative quarter beyond Kings Cross and St Pancras, in Europe’s largest new square – Granary Square (14 July 2012).


Rio Occupation London will see 30 Rio artists occupy the streets, stages and squares of London during the 2012 Olympic Games for an exuberant30-day residency of art, music, dance, theatre, film and poetry. Working across the city with London-based artists, the 30 artists will create performances in both traditional art spaces and more unusual settings around the capital (8 July – 4 August 2012).


Sun Rings, the highly acclaimed piece for string quartet, chorus and pre-recorded spacescapes by American composer Terry Riley will have its UK premiere in Glasgow on 15 July 2012. The work will be performed by the world-renowned Kronos Quartet and the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, and is accompanied by a film featuring awe-inspiring footage of solar flares, close-ups of the planets, and visions depicting the vastness of space (15 July 2012).


Pop up events are taking place across the UK as part of the London 2012 Festival, with programmes including comedy gigs, visual artinstallations, music concerts, and outdoor events.  Highlights from the series include Sacrilege, Jeremy Deller’s life-size inflatable replica of Stonehenge; Tall Tales from the Riverbanks on a comedy barge; and the highly anticipated One Extraordinary Day: Streb Action byaward-winning American choreographer Elizabeth Streb, featuring daredevil feats of extreme athleticism across iconic London sites.


Works inspired by Olympic and Paralympic values:


Draw Down the Walls presents a new commission by theinternationally renowned Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz, to create a temporary public intervention within one of Belfast’s contested spaces. In a tribute to the theme of Olympic Truce, Muñoz’ssite-specific installation, Ambulatorio Belfast, transforms the ‘no man’s land’ between the two barriers that separate Crumlin Road and Flax Street, with aerial maps of North Belfast sealed under a layer of cracked glass. The installation is the artist’s response to meetings with communities from both sides of the interface and explores the universal themes of memory, human loss and impermanence. The artist’s experience of living and working in another conflict zone, Cali in Colombia, provides a unique window of opportunity to spotlight the relationships that are being built between historically divided communities. Ambulatorio Belfast has been commissioned by the Golden Thread Gallery and London 2012 Festival on behalf of Draw Down the Walls, an ongoing collaboration designed to create the conditions to imagine a city without barriers (9 July – 4 August 2012).


Peace Camp is director Deborah Warner’s commission for the London 2012 Festival, created in collaboration with actor Fiona Shaw and composer Mel Mercier. Actors, writers, poets and the public have lent theirvoices for the commission. Their murmuring voices have been woven together into a symphony of sound: love poetry, words, signals and noises, all play in counterpoint to the ambient sounds of the natural environment. The installation will appear at eight beautiful and remote coastal locations in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, including five National Trust sites. It features glowing encampments of some 2,000 tents in total, where visitors will hear a soundscape of love poetry and sounds of the natural environment. Theproject is inspired by the theme of Olympic Truce. Those whose voices were recorded for the project include Seamus Heaney, Eileen Atkins, Ioan Gruffudd, and Bill Paterson (19 – 22 July 2012).


Niet Normaal: Difference onDisplay is a major international contemporary art exhibition featuring the work of more than 30 internationally renowned artists including new commissions, each addressing a definitive question of our time: ‘what is normal and who decides?’ This question is being examined through art that aims to celebrate difference in the Olympic and Paralympic year.  The exhibition at Bluecoat in Liverpool is adapted from the landmark Dutch exhibition of the same name, and forms part of the London 2012 Festival’s UNLIMITED programme, the largest ever UK programme celebrating arts, culture and sport by disabled and deaf people (13 July – 2 September 2012).


BT River of Music, one of the most ambitious musical events ever staged in the capital, is a spectacular weekend of free music at six landmark venues along the River Thames. It features more than 1,500 artistsfrom all Olympic and Paralympic nations, and acts as a curtain-raiser for the sporting celebrations that will follow during the Olympic Games. Established, award-winning and emerging artists are performing at Tower of London (Americas Stage), Somerset House and Trafalgar Square (Europe Stages), Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich (Oceania Stage), London Pleasure Gardens, Docklands (Africa Stage), Battersea Park (Asia Stage). Star performers include: Scissor Sisters, Noisettes, South African legend Hugh Masekela, Grammy-award winning Angelique Kidjo, former Buena Vista Social Club pianist Roberto Fonseca, Wynton Marsalis andJazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Chinese superstar Gong Linna, the world’sgreatest living tabla player Zakir Hussain, and Senegalese singer and guitarist Baaba Maal (21 – 22 July 2012).



Other major highlights taking place on the fourth week of the London 2012 Festival:


BBC Proms, the world’s biggest classical musicfestival, will this year form a part of the London 2012 Festival. The eight-week season of concert and events launches on 13 July and features the world’s leading artists and orchestras, record number of new commissions, record youth participation and a celebration of London and composers and pieces considered to have changed the world, such as Beethoven, Boulez, and Cage. The First Night of the Proms features the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Canon Fever, and works by Elgar, Delius and Tippett. On 14 July John Wilson and his hand-picked orchestra return, with an all-star cast, for their first ever recreation of a complete musical, the London classic, My Fair Lady.  For Prom 3 on 15 July, Sir John Eliot Gardiner leads Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and Monteverdi Choir in a performance of Debussy’s landmark opera Pelléas et Mélisande. The Proms’ series celebrating young orchestras and choirs in many forms begins on 16 July with a collaboration between two major music colleges from either side of the Atlantic, Juilliard Orchestra and Orchestra of the Royal Academy of Music, led by celebrated American composer and conductor John Adams, in a performance culminating with Adam’s City Noir (13 July – 8 September 2012).


Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, return to London with a series of exclusive premieres and collaborations performed bysome of America’s finest jazz musicians. The orchestra’s second Barbican Residency begins on 10 July with the European premiere of Wynton Marsalis and Yacub Addy’s Congo Square, a celebration of the historic Congo Square site in New Orleans. The residencycontinues on 13 July with the world premiere of the complete score of WyntonMarsalis’ Abyssinian Mass, a large-scale work traversing jazz history, from spirituals to hard-bop; A Midsummer Night’s Swing Dance on 14 July; and on 16 July the Orchestra are joined by guest stars for Afro-Cuban Fiesta (10 – 26 July 2012).


Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 sees a range of contemporary artists – including choreographers, composers, poets and visual artists respond to three masterpieces by Renaissance artist Titian. Their work will be displayed at the National Gallery and performed at the Royal Opera House by The Royal Ballet. British contemporary artists, Chris Ofili, Conrad Shawcross and Mark Wallinger, will create settings for new ballets at The Royal Opera House. Seven choreographers will collaborate with the artists to create three new works, in response to three great paintings by Titian and original music commissionedfrom leading British composers. Wayne McGregor will work with the Danish choreographer Kim Brandstrup, and Christopher Wheeldon will work alongside Alastair Marriott with Will Tuckett, Jonathan Watkins and Liam Scarlett. Original music for the ballets has been commissioned from Mark-Anthony Turnage, Jonathan Dove and Nico Muhly (National Gallery: 11 July – 23 September 2012, Royal Opera House: 14 – 20 July 2012).


World Shakespeare Festival celebrates the global appeal of William Shakespeare with an unprecedented collaboration of leading UK and international arts organisations, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Performances and events scheduled for the fourth week of the London 2012 Festival include: Timon of Athens, Shakespeare’s strange fable of conspicuous consumption, debt and ruin with Simon Russell Beale in the title role (10 July – 31 October 2012); and the BBC Shakespeare Unlocked season, which brings together four adaptations of Shakespeare’s History Plays on BBC Two, forming a continuous story of monarchy and political power struggle. The Hollow Crown features Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II, and Henry V. Henry IV Part II airs on BBC Two on 14 July 2012, and stars Jeremy Irons, Simon Russell Beale, Tom Hiddleston and Julie Walters, and is directed by RichardEyre.


Alan Ayckbourn Double Bill:Absurd Person Singular and Surprises – The first play is a revival of Absurd Person Singular, one of Ayckbourn’s best loved and critically acclaimed works. This classic is in repertoire with the production of his 76th play, Surprises, which has its world premiere at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough on 17 July. Alan Ayckbourn is a recent recipient of both the Olivier and Tony Lifetime Achievement Awards and was knighted for services to theatre in 1997 (performing at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough from 8 June –13 October 2012, and at the Minerva Theatre,Chichester from 8 August – 8 September 2012).


TooMortal is a new dance work for churches created by choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh to be performed in four European cities: London, Worcester, Venice and Stockholm. In TooMortal, Shobana Jeyasingh builds on the idea of the church as a place of enquiry as well as solace, and acts as an intimate and thought provoking respite to the city streets outside. The work offers surprising perspectives, positioning both the audience and the six female dancers in unexpected places within the architectural narrative of St Pancras Parish Church, London (12 – 14 July 2012).


The Ring, one of Alfred Hitchcock’s silent masterpieces, will be screened with a live performance of British jazz musician Soweto Kinch’s new score.  The fully restored film is being shown at London’s Hackney Empire, a venue Hitchcock himself frequented. The film is part of the BFI’s celebration on an Olympian scale of The Genius of Hitchcock, the most comprehensive exploration of his work ever presented (13 July 2012).


Alif Ensemble is one of the most exciting new projects to come from the Arab world, bringing together musicians from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Iraq for a beguiling blend of acoustic and contemporary electronic sounds. Conceived by multi-talented oud player Khyam Allami, the Alif Ensemble will see him partner with two of the most inventive and independent Arabic musicians; Palestinian composer and vocalist Tamer Abu Ghazaleh and Egyptian electronica musician Maurice Louca, and a band of musicians from both traditional and contemporary Arabic music disciplines. The premiere of this new and exciting work will be performed at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (15 July2012).


UNLIMITED, involving deaf and disabled artists, is the UK’s largest programme of its kind, with 29 commissions. It encourages collaborations and partnerships between disability arts organisations, disabled and deaf artists, producers, and mainstream organisations. As well as the exhibition Niet Normaal, additional highlights from the programme currently on show include: Unlimited Global Academy, a collaborative exhibition of artworks and films by British artist Rachel Gadsden and the South Africian Bambananiartist-activist Group (23 June – 9 September 2012); and Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing, an exhibition by artist film-maker Helen Petts exploring the life and works of German artist Kurt Schwitters (28 June – 10 September 2012)


Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said: “Please sign up to this week to make sure you are first to know about our new commissions and pop up surprises – you won’t want to miss out on this week’s free events in unusual places.  And of course please book for astonishing new work inside our great cultural centres as well.”


Everyone will be able to join in the celebration with over 10 million free opportunities to take part in 12,000 events and performances at 900 venues all over the UK, including 130 world premieres and 85 UK premieres.


Listings for London 2012 Festival for the week beginning 9 July 2012:


Art, Design & Exhibitions

UK wide

Sacrilege – Jeremy Deller (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), UK wide tour

Imagine Peace – Yoko Ono (19 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), London 2012 Live Sites



Art in the Park (From 27 Jul 2012), Olympic Park, London

Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion (6 Jul – 29 Jul 2012), Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Coral: Rekindling Venus (7 Jun – 6 Jul 2012), Peter Harrison Planetarium, London

Damien Hirst (4 Apr – 9 Sep 2012), Tate Modern, London

Design Stories – The Architecture behind 2012 (25 Jun – 25 Sep 2012), Royal Institute of British Architects, London

Design the Extraordinary – Heatherwick Studio (31 May – 30 Sep 2012), Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Frieze Projects East (25 Jun – 31 Aug 2012), multiple venues, London

Government Art Collection at the Whitechapel Gallery (19 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Whitechapel Gallery, London

Metamorphosis – Titian 2012 (11 Jul – 23 Sep 2012), National Gallery, London

Next Generations – BP Portrait Awards (21 Jun – 23 Sep 2012), National Portrait Gallery, London

Official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Poster Display (21 Jun – 21 Sep 2012), Tate Britain, London

Sea Change: Things UnspokenCape Farewell (24 May – 13 Jul 2012), Royal Society of British Sculptors, London

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012 – Ai Weiwei & Herzog and de Meuron (1 Jun – 14 Oct 2012), Serpentine Gallery, London

The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (4 Jun – 26 Aug), Cromwell Green, House of Parliament, London

To The Light – Yoko Ono (19 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Serpentine Gallery, London

Whitechapel Gallery Commission – Rachel Whiteread (From 14 June 2012), Whitechapel Gallery, London

Yinka Shonibare (From 21 June 2012), Royal Opera House, London

South of England

Ballast Seed Garden – Maria Thereza Alves (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Floating Harbour(North side), Bristol

Cass Sculpture Foundation – Tony Cragg (21 Jun – 4 Nov 2012), Cass Sculpture Foundation, West Sussex

Edmund de Waal (20 Apr – 28 Oct 2012), Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury

Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 – John Gerrard (7 – 29 Jul 2012), The Old Power Station, Oxford

Give me tomorrow – Alex Katz (19 May – 23 Sep 2012), Tate St Ives, St Ives

Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea… – Richard Wilson (7 Jul – 1 Oct 2012), De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill On Sea

Piercing Brightness – Shezad Dawood (23 Jun – 29 Sep 2012) Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance. (30 Jun – 15 Sep 2012), The Exchange, Penzance

She Lay Down Deep Beneath the SeaTracey Emin (26 May – 23 Sep 2012), Tuner Contemporary, Margate

The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (1 Jun – 17 Sep 2012), Blenheim Palace, Oxford

The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (11 May – 1 Sep 2012), The Secret Gardens of Sandwich, Sandwich

Unlimited Global Alchemy – Rachel Gadsden (23 Jun – 18 Aug 2012), Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge

Untrue Island – Robert Macfarlane, Arnie Somogyi, and Jane & Louise Wilson (8 – 30 Jul 2012), Orford Ness, Suffolk


CORE – Kurt Hentschläger (23 Mar – 30 Sep 2012), Enginuity, Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, Telford

The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (11 May – 1 Sep 2012), Althorp Estate, Northampton

North of England

Art from West Africa Today – We Face Forward (2 Jun – 15 Sep), Gallery of Costume, Manchester. (2 Jun – 16 Sep) Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. (2 Jun – 16 Sep 2012), Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

·       Niet Normaal: Difference on Display (13 July – 2 September 2012), The Bluecoat, Liverpool

Richard Long (Artist Rooms) and Luke Fowler (23 Jun – 14 Oct 2012), The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing – Helen Petts (28 Jun – 18 Aug 2012), Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (1 Jun – 31 Aug 2012) Castle Howard, York

Trade Secrets – Humble Market (23 Jun – 26 Aug 2012), FACT, Liverpool


Adain Avion – Marc Rees (24 Jun – 12 Aug 2012), multiple venues, Wales

Making Triangles – Richard La Trobe-Bateman (7 Jul – 9 Sep 2012), Ruthin Craft Centre, Ruthin

Room of Dreams – Wendy Ramshaw (7 Jul – 9 Sep 2012), Ruthin Craft Centre, Ruthin

Northern Ireland

Draw Down the Walls – Oscar Muñoz (9 Jul – 4 Aug 2012), Crumlin Road/Flax Street Interface, Belfast

Godot Tree – Antony Gormley (2 Jul – 27 Aug 2012), The Grand Yard at Castle Coole, Enniskillen

The Screaming Silence of the Wind – Maurice Orr (18 Jun -3 Aug 2012) Great Hall, Stormont, Belfast



South of England

Tales of the Riverbank Comedy Barge (9 Jul 2012), The Boathouse, Wallingford

Tales of the Riverbank Comedy Barge (12 Jul 2012), The Jolly Boatman, Thrupp



UK wide

Big Dance (7 – 15 Jul 2012), venues nationwide

Big Dance 2012: Big Dance Bus (18 May – 15 Jul 2012), Across London and the UK

Big Dance 2012: Big Dance Shorts (7 – 15 Jul 2012), Channel 4 and Pop-Up Cinemas, UK wide

·       Big Dance 2012: Big Street Dance Day (14 Jul 2012); multiple locations, UK wide


Big Dance 2012: Big Dance – Beijing and Rio (14 Jul 2012), Trafalgar Square, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Big Dance in Trafalgar Square (14 Jul 2012), Trafalgar Square, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Brazil Day (15 Jul 2012), Wandsworth Park, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Bromley Big Dance Fest (13 Jul 2012), Churchill Theatre, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Big Dance Cheer (11 Jul 2012), Twickenham Stoop, London

Big Dance 2012: Big Dance Big Top Tent (5 – 9 Jul 2012), Old Royal Naval College, London

Big Dance 2012: Dance in Focus (25 Jun – 15 Jul 2012), City Hall, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Dancing Libraries (3 Jun – 13 Jul 2012), multiple venues, North London

·       Big Dance 2012: Dancing Voices (11 Jul 2012), Southbank Centre, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Dare2Dance Battle of the Boroughs vs b.supreme (9 Jul 2012), Bloomsbury Theatre

·       Big Dance 2012: Design for Dance (10 Jul 2012), City Hall, London

·       Big Dance 2012: English National Ballet and the Big Dance Bus (12 Jul 2012), secret West London location

·       Big Dance 2012: Footfall (15 Jul 2012), Siobhan Davies Studios, London

·       Big Dance 2012: I Love Dance: Hackney Dance Festival (9 – 12 Jul 2012), various venues in Hackney, London

·       Big Dance 2012 in the Baylis (9 – 10 Jul 2012), Sadler’s Wells, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Prologue presented by Sadler’s Wells and New Adventures (12 – 13 Jul 2012), Sadler’s Wells, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Physical Ballet (14 Jul 2012), Trafalgar Square

·       Big Dance 2012: Shall we Dance? (13 Jul 2012), Duke of York Square, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Still Moving (13 – 15 Jul 2012), City Hall, London

·       Big Dance 2012: U.Dance (13 – 15 Jul 2012), Southbank Centre, London

·       Big Dance 2012: Big Dance Walk (15 Jul 2012), Oxleas Meadows, Lonodn

·       Big Dance 2012: Walking Piece (15 Jul 2012), Siobhan Davies Studios, London

·       Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 – The Royal Ballet (14 – 20 Jul 2012), Royal Opera House, London

Secrets: Hidden London – Like a Fish out of Water (12 – 14 Jul 2012)  – Hampton Pool, London

·       Spill – A Playground of Dance (13 Jul 2012), Victoria Park, London

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: World Cities 2012 – Wiesenland (8 – 9 Jul 2012), Sadler’s Wells, London

·       TooMortal – Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company (12 – 14 Jul 2012), St. Pancras Church, London

South of England

Big Dance 2012: A Hooligans Game (10 – 13 Jul 2012), Strets Theatre, Upton Cross, Cornwall

Big Dance 2012: Ashford Big Dance (13 Jul 2012), Ashford Town Centre

Big Dance 2012: Charlotte Spencer at Jerwood Gallery (14 Jul 2012), Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

Big Dance 2012: Desert Crossings (13 – 14 Jul 2012), Nothe Fort, Weymouth

Big Dance 2012: Have A Go Day (14 Jul 2012), Harvey Hadden Sports Complex, Nottingham

Big Dance 2012: Jasmin Vardimon Company hosts Big Dance (14 Jul 2012), Stour Centre, Ashford

Big Dance 2012: Kettering Big Dance (14 Jul 2012), Market Place, Kettering

·       Big Dance 2012: Landance (14 – 15 Jul 2012), Eggardon Hill, West Dorset

Big Dance 2012: Polonaise on the Pier (14 Jul 2012), The Pier, Southend-on-Sea

Big Dance 2012: Spiegeltent (1 – 14 Jul 2012), Christchurch Park, Ipswich

·       Big Dance 2012: Strictly Swindon (15 Jul 2012), Swindon Dance, Swindon

Big Dance 2012: Taxi! By Avant Garde Dance (14 Jul 2012), various locations, Brighton

Big Dance 2012: Time Gentleman Please: The Demon Barber Roadshow(7 – 14 Jul 2012), Regional tour

Big Dance 2012: Urban Dance Event (15 Jul 2012), The Octagon Theatre, Yeovil

Big Dance 2012: Urban Moves (7 – 13 Jul 2012), multiple venues, Swindon Town Centre

·       Spill – A Playground of Dance (12 July 2012), Ledbury Park, Herefordshire

·       Spill – A Playground of Dance (14 July 2012), King George Playing Fields, Welwyn Garden City


·       Big Dance 2012: Big Dance Ceilidh (14 Jul 2012), Deda, Derby

·       Big Dance 2012: WE Dance Festival (13 – 14 Jul 2012), mac, Birmingham

·       Spill – A Playground of Dance (11 July 2012), Arrow Valley Park, Redditch

·       Spill – A Playground of Dance (15 July 2012), Gheluvelt Park, Worcester

North of England

·       Big Dance 2012: Big Dance Ceilidh (13 Jul 2012), Arts Centre, Washington

·       Big Dance 2012: Big Dance North West Link Up! (15 Jul 2012), Chavasse Park, Liverpool One

·       Big Dance 2012: Brazilica Carnival (13 – 15 Jul 2012), Liverpool City Centre

·       Big Dance 2012: Brouhaha International Festival (13 – 14 Jul 2012), various locations, Merseyside

·       Big Dance 2012: City Steps (15 Jul 2012), Liverpool City Centre

·       Big Dance 2012: Big Dance  – Celebration (15 July 2012), Millennium Square, Leeds

·       Big Dance 2012: E Dance Residency & Showcase (9 – 12 Jul 2012), Grimsby / Cleethorpes, Yorkshire

·       Big Dance 2012: Live at the Bandstand (15 Jul 2012), Abbey Grounds, Hexham

·       Big Dance 2012: Mass Dance On the Beach (14 Jul 2012), Spa Gardens and the beach, Bridlington Spa

·       Big Dance 2012: Mouth of the Tyne Festival (14 – 15 Jul 2012), Tynemouth Station

·       Big Dance 2012: Stockton Dance Festival (7 – 14 Jul 2012), various locations, Stockton

·       Big Dance 2012: Summerscene Festival (15 Jul 2012), Ridley Park, Blyth

·       Big Dance 2012: The Lowry Summer Ball (15 Jul 2012), The Lowry, Salford Quays


·       Big Dance 2012: The Big Screen Big Dance (9 – 14 Jul 2012), Eden Court, Inverness


·       Big Dance 2012: Cardiff Mela (15 Jul 2012), Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay


Film, Broadcast & Digital

UK wide

A Room for London (1 Jan – 30 Dec 2012), Digital, UK wide

A Running Jump – Mike Leigh (24 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Picturehouse Cinemas, UK wide

BBC Two: The Hollow Crown – Henry IV Part I and II (7 and 14 Jul 2012)

·       Chariots of Fire (13 Jul 2012), In cinemas across the UK

Film National Shorts Online (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Online and Live Sites, UK wide

Ping Pong: Never Too Old For Gold (6 Jul 2012 onwards), Cinemas and online, UK wide

Sea Change – Cape Farewell Scottish Islands Project (1 May – 30 Sep), Online, UK Wide

StoryCloud (18 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Online, UK wide

The Odyssey – Asif Kapadia (24 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Picture House Cinemas, UK wide

The SwimmerLynne Ramsay (24 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Picturehouse Cinemas, UK Wide

What IfMax Giwa and Dania Pasquini (24 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Picturehouse Cinemas, UK wide


·       Jubilation: A celebration of the Music of George Benjamin (14 Jul 2012), Institut Français, London

·       The Genius of Hitchcock: The Ring (13 Jul 2012), Hackney Empire, London

South of England

A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and back (9 Jul 2012), Kino, Hawkhurst

A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and back (12 Jul 2012), Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury

A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and back (12 Jul 2012), Harbour LIghts, Southampton

·       On Landguard Point: A film about home – Pacitti Company (12 – 15 Jul 2012), Latitude Festival, Southwold

Northern Ireland

MACROPOLIS (12 Jul – 29 Aug 2012), W5 at Odessey, Belfast


Museums & Heritage


The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Medals (until 9 Sep 2012), British Museum, London

Universe of Sound: The Planets – Philharmonia Orchestra (23 May – 8 Jul 2012), Science Museum, London

South of England

The Search of Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China (5 May – 11 Nov 2012), Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Treasures of China (30 Jun 2012 – 7 Jan 2013), Colchester Castle Museum, Colchester

World Stories – Young Voices (From 23 Jun 2012), Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Brighton

North of England

Golden Threads (19 May – 16 Sep 2012), Bradford Industrial Museum, Bradford




Africa Utopia – Baaba Maal (3 – 28 Jul 2012), Southbank Centre, London

?        BBC Prom 1 (13 Jul 2012), Royal Albert Hall, London

?        BBC Prom 2 (14 Jul 2012), Royal Albert Hall, London

?        BBC Prom 3 (15 Jul 2012), Royal Albert Hall, London

?        Eurostar presents Traction (14 Jul 2012), Granary Square, London

?        Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – Abyssinian Mass (13 Jul 2012), Barbican Hall, London

?        Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – Congo Square (10 Jul 2012), Barbican Hall, London

?        Jazz at Lincoln Center – Essentially Ellington UK (14 Jul 2012), Barbican Hall, London

Les Troyens (The Trojans) (25 Jun – 11 Jul 2012), Royal Opera House, London

Nothing Is Set In Stone – SECRETS: Hidden London (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Fairlop Waters, Barkingside, London

Otello – The Royal Opera (12 – 24 Jul 2012), Royal Opera House, London

Ring Round the World – English Pocket Opera Company (2 – 6 Jul 2012), The Broadway Theatre, Barking, London


?        Welcome Songs – Eliza Carthy (11 Jul 2012), Wenlock Priory, Much Wenlock

North of England

?        The Alif Ensemble (15 Jul 2012), Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool


?        Sun Rings – Terry Riley (15 Jul 2012), Riverside Museum, Glasgow


Outdoor & Carnival


Rio Occupation London (8 Jul – 4 Aug 2012), multiple venues, London

Watch this Space Commissions – National Theatre  (1 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), National Theatre, London

South of England

The Boat Project – Lone Twin (5 Jul – 11 Aug 2012), Venues across the south of England

?        Fire Garden at Stonehenge – Compagnie Carabosse (10 – 12 Jul 2012), Stonehenge, Salisbury

?        Blue Touch Paper Carnival (UK) and Embaixadores da Alegria (Brazil) (15 Jul 2012), Horsham Park, Horsham

North of England

?        Cakebook Britain (15 Jul 2012), Saltwell Park, Gateshead



Poetry & Storytelling

UK Wide

StoryLab: The Summer Reading Challenge 2012 (14 Jul – 10 Sep 2012), UK wide


Wastelands to Wonderlands – Writing Britain (11 May – 25 Sep 2012) British Library, London

South of England

Rochester’s Ripping Story Loom (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012) The Story Museum, Oxford


Theatre & Performance

UK Wide

Shakespeare Unlocked (23 Apr – 31 Dec 2012), BBC Online, UK wide


en route (26 Jun – 21 Jul 2012), Theatre Royal Stratford East, London

Gatz – Elevator Repair Service (8 Jun – 15 Jul 2012), Noel Coward Theatre, London

Henry V – Globe to Globe (8 Jun – 26 Aug 2012), Shakespeare’s Globe, London

The Last of the Haussmans (until 10 Oct 2012) National Theatre, London

The Pop-Up Workshop – National Theatre Inside Out (1 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), London

Timon of Athens (10 July – 31 Oct 2012), National Theatre, London

you’ll see [me sailing in antarctica] – non zero one (6 – 15 Jul 2012) National Theatre, London


A Soldier in Every Son: The Rise of the Aztecs (29 Jun – 28 Jul 2012), Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Festival of Chaos – Hedda Gabler (6 – 28 Jul 2012), Royal & Derngate, Northampton

King John – Royal Shakespeare Company (6 Apr – 15 Sep 2012), Swan Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Open Stages (13 – 22 Jul 2012), Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Swan Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Richard III – Royal Shakespeare Company (22 Mar – 15 Sep 2012), Swan Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Shakespeare Stories in partnership with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (21 Apr – 21 Dec 2012), Stratford Upon Avon

Squidsoup: Living Walls (21 Apr – 9 Sep 2012), Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Stan’s Café: Of All the People In All The World (14 Apr – 31 Jul 2012), Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

The Adventure of the Missing Manuscript – The House of Fairy Tales (2 Jul – 2 Sep 2012), Stratford-upon-Avon

The Tempest – Royal Shakespeare Company (30 Mar – 7 Oct 2012), Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Twelfth Night – Royal Shakespeare Company (8 Mar – 6 Oct 2012), Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

North of England

Bee Detective – Tin Bath Theatre Company (13 – 15 Jul 2012), Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

Devoted and Disgruntled Roadshow – Improbable (11 Jun 2012), The Arc, Stockton On Tees. (13 Jul 2012), New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lime

Double Bill: Absurd Person Singular and Surprises – Alan Ayckbourn (8 Jun – 13 Oct 2012), Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Macbeth: Leila and Ben – A Bloody History – Artistes, Producteurs, Associés (12 – 14 Jul 2012), Northern Stage, Newcastle


The Royal Ballet Season details for 2011/12

Today The Royal Ballet has announced it’s plans for Monica Mason’s final season as Artistic Director. Since 1987 Mason has been involved with the direction of the company to some degree, first as Anthony Dowell’s assistant, then Assistant Director, though Acting Director and finally in December 2002 as Director.  This year we have been told that there is to be no great fanfare farewell; that it’s a special year where Mason has programmed some of her favourites.  Actually, that’s what she’s told us she’s been doing every year of her tenure. 

2012 spans the Olympic and Paralympic Games and though there are to be “celebratory events in Covent Garden” the detail shows only the thinnest of ballet involvement.  Metamorphosis : Titian 2012 (4 performances plus BP Big Screen) is a collaboration between The Royal Ballet and the National Gallery where 7 choreographers (Wheeldon/Marriott, McGregor/Brandstrup, Tuckett/Scarlett/Watkins) will create 3 new works in response to 3 paintings by Titian : Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeon and Diana and Callisto.  These 3 works will be shown on BP Summer Big Screens from 16th – 25th July.  And that’s it for the Olympics, with Deborah Bull declaring, “The Games in our city offer a great opportunity to celebrate the inspirational talent of the artists who bring these same qualities to our stages.”  Tony Hall said that upon learning that London had won The Games the ROH was “keen to start thinking about how we could become involved to showcase the very best of our culture and creativity at a time when the eyes of the world would be on our country.”  And this is it ?

The 2011/12 ballet season – The Royal Ballet’s 80th season – offers 5 World Premieres, 8 full length ballets & 6 mixed programmes. 

The full length works include Jewels (Balanchine), which opens the season on 20th September, The Sleeping Beauty (Mason/Newton) opening on 22nd October, Manon (MacMillian) 3rd November for 9 performances, The Nutcracker (Wright) 2nd December, Romeo & Juliet (MacMillian) 10th January 2012, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Wheeldon) 17th March, La Fille Mal Gardee (Ashton) 21st April 2012 and finally The Prince of the Pagodas (MacMillian) 2nd June 2012 for 8 performances.  It’s 18 years since this was last performed and with all the other box office staples this revival should be important, though of course it will be minus Darcey Bussell (Bussell was plucked from the corps de ballet by MacMillan to star in this ballet and was promoted to Principal at the age of 20, in December 1989 after the premiere).  For this revival the company must be in the pretty unusual situation of having almost no-one who has danced to it’s Eastern-influenced, tricky music, so casting will be key. Bring on the marimbas!

Limen/Marguerite & Armand/Requiem (McGregor/Ashton/MacMillian) opens on 8th October and the other mixed bills are Asphodel Meadows/Enigma Variations/Gloria (Scarlett/Ashton/MacMillian) opening on 19th November, The Dream/Song of the Earth (Ashton/MacMillian) on 1st February, New Scarlett/Polyphonia/New McGregor (Scarlett/Wheeldon/McGregor) on 5th April, Ballo Della Regina/La Sylphide (Balanchine/Kobborg) on 21st May and Birthday Offering/A Month in the Country/Les Noces (Ashton/Nijinska) on 30th June 2012.

Ballet Black return to ROH2 in a co-production.

Having no Royal Ballet events specifically organised while London hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Metamprphosis is part of the London 2012 Festival) feels as though it’s short-changing the arts. With such an opportunity to showcase our Olympic and Paralympic athletes along with the elite athletes of The Royal Ballet gone to waste, we can only hope that London’s other ballet companies take up the baton for ballet.

The season itself, conceived as it largely was before the funding cuts appeared on the horizon, feels like an unaffected mix of box office certainties, the regulation new McGregor, a quick repeat of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (quick in terms of the repeat itself and for the 11 performances) and the ballets that Mason herself favours.

Further information

Watch videos of Manon & Romeo & Juliet

Watch rehearsal footage of Gary Avis coaching The Nutcracker

Visit the Royal Opera House website