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Urban Moves International Dance Festival

Performers take to the streets and the skies at the Urban Moves International Dance Festival

Published on July 23rd 2008.

Urban Moves International Dance Festival

The second Urban Moves International Dance Festival stomps its way into Manchester, Oldham and Bury this weekend for three days of free outdoor performances.

Dance company Cie Retouramont from France will be suspended high above Albert Square using skyscraper cranes.

Dance is usually seen as about as accessible for mass audiences as opera, but this mini-festival seems determined to grab the attention of unsuspecting crowds. Described as a blend of dance and spectacle, performances will take place all over the city centre – in parks, squares, fountains, gardens, and in the sky above.

Dance company Cie Retouramont from France will be suspended high above Albert Square using skyscraper cranes. Their 'vertical dancing' is inspired by the empty spaces that are part of the city's landscape. They'll be performing impossible movements and challenging the idea that humans can't fly on Friday at 6.30pm – so cast your eyes skyward if you're in that part of town.

Back on ground level, there will be a full programme of events over the weekend, including dancers in giant transparent pods in Cathedral Gardens, a troupe who travel across town using pedestrian crossings, waiting for the green man to appear before they perform, and four ladies searching for a prince charming in the Piccadilly Gardens fountain. Most of the action takes place in Manchester city centre, but there'll be a few performances in Bury on Friday and in Oldham on Saturday.

Although the artists come from as far afield as Australia, their work will specifically celebrate the cityscape and architecture of Manchester. On Sunday at 3.30pm, you can see a piece by dance company EKLECTIKA that brings to life the history of Piccadilly Gardens – from the eighteenth century when it was home to an asylum, through war time when the tunnels beneath it sheltered city dwellers from bombs, up to its use by the public today.

All the performances are free. There's a full schedule at: www.urbanmovesfestival.co.uk

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