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Urban Moves Returns - Let's Dance Madly

Kevin Bourke gets into shape for the fun on Friday 27 July tp Sunday 29 July

Published on July 25th 2012.

Urban Moves Returns - Let's Dance Madly

THIS year's fourth Urban Moves, an ‘international dance festival with a difference’, boasts three days of contemporary dance performed outdoors in Manchester's Castlefield, in Bury, Bolton and Salford, as well as on the East Lancs. Railway. Click here for the website.

We fuse music and dance from the outset and the human stories and architectural qualities of the sites we perform are our inspiration. 

Highlights include a car taking central stage as a member of French dance company, Company Massala; the debut of that brand-new Olympic sport 'having a good time' from Maelstrom Dance; Korean dance from Park Soon-Ho, EDx2 Dance Company and Ji-Hyung An Dance Project; and Little Bo Peep getting the 21st century treatment in The Bo Sisters from Axial Dance/Voidance Company.

Spain’s dance company La Macana push the convention of the duet to its edge in Ven, whilst Company Fierce provide a stripped-back ballet pairing in A Duet To Music. Another local company Fuse Dance, an over-50s dance troupe based in Bury, performs Let Off Steam on the platform of the East Lancashire Railway’s Bury station and young teenage men from the Greater Manchester community company Stride animate Bury shopping centre The Rock as they explore aspiration and consumption.

Ji-Hyeong An Dance ProjectJi-Hyeong An Dance Project

For Deb Ashby, the director of organisers Dance Initiative Greater Manchester (DiGM), it is all about "getting contemporary dance out of the theatre and into full view of the public", introducing it to people who wouldn’t normally buy tickets for a dance performance.

“The enormously increased audiences for contemporary dance over the last few years is one of the great arts success stories," she agrees. "But we still feel that there are untapped communities out there.

“So our objectives with Urban Moves have been to find some of the very best in UK and European dance, as well as this really exciting new link with Korean dance companies, to make this festival free and to take dance to places where people wouldn’t necessarily expect to experience it, showing them it’s nothing to be wary of, that it can become a part of their everyday lives.”

Also "absolutely passionate about art entering into public places and making culture and dance easily accessible" is Australian-born dancer and choreographer Bridget Fiske. Her latest piece Rəvolve, created over many months with her partners in Out Of The Blue Productions, dancer/choreographer Joseph Lau and musician Gavin Wayte, will have its World Premiere at Urban Moves.

"Our collective specialises in performances of dance theatre and new music in unconventional spaces," she explains. "We fuse music and dance from the outset and the human stories and architectural qualities of the sites we perform are our inspiration. From them we create performances unique to each place."

This new work "explores the fragility of facade, the desire to have oneself reflected in another and the longing to be loved." It is, she says, "an intimate yet comic tragedy where there is much to hold on to, but a fate that has already been decided."

The performances will feature Bridget and dancer Richard Causer, along, intriguingly, with a live harpist, Louise Thomson.

"The harp isn't an instrument you would normally find in an outdoor performance but it looks so beautiful and unusual, which was partly what inspired us. Performances in a public space bring a different perspective on that place and can help people who see them pay more attention to their environment."

Urban Moves events are on from Friday 27 July - Sunday 29 July at Castlefield, Manchester; Victoria Square, Bolton; St Peter's Basin, Salford (by Salford Quays Metrolink); and Millgate, The Rock, Kay Gardens and East Lancashire Railway Station, Bury.

For performance times and a full programme visit www.urbanmovesfestival.co.uk.

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