For the first time in its 18-year history British Dance Edition is coming to Wales.
Between 15 and 18 of March, over 750 artists, producers and presenters will descend on Cardiff and Newport to showcase and celebrate the British dance sector.
In total 73 UK companies and independent artists will be presenting work, taking part in a trade show and pitching ideas to presenters from across the UK, Europe, Canada, USA, Africa, Russia and Asia.
British Dance Edition Cymru 2016 is being led by Chapter and its creative producer programme Coreo Cymru, in partnership with Wales Millennium Centre, National Dance Company Wales and Newport Live. Generously supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government Major Events Unit, Arts Council of England and the National Lottery through the Creative Scotland Open Project Fund, it also includes partnerships with leading national organisations including British Council, One Dance UK and the Foundation for Community Dance – People Dancing.
Project Director, Carole Blade of Coreo Cymru said: “From the time we heard from National Dance Network that Wales had won the 2016 British Dance Edition bid, we have been carefully selecting and curating the programme to offer promoters a selection of high quality touring works. It has been a challenge narrowing down to the 36 artists and companies from such a vibrant, eclectic and vast field but we’re certain that, with the quality of dance we’re bringing to Wales, this Edition will leave a lasting legacy for the sector in Wales and the rest of the UK.”
Amongst the 36 companies and independent artists invited to perform by an international selection panel of experts, in a process spanning over 18 months, are 6 Wales based companies; National Dance Theatre Wales presenting, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Jo Fong, Gwyn Emberton Dance, Vertical Dance Kate Lawrence and Up & Over It. A further 11 companies have been invited to pitch their productions and ideas including Ballet Cymru and West Wales based artist Simon Whitehead.
National presentations of UK companies and artists is a key aim of the showcase and its diverse programme of works and includes 16 Welsh companies, 6 Scottish companies, 2 from Northern Ireland and 49 companies from across England including North, midlands, South and West regions.
The event, an initiative of National Dance Network, brings together key players in the industry today, the showcase will be opening up several performances to the public at The Riverfront, Newport and Wales Millennium Centre, offering a rare opportunity to see the latest work from some of the UK’s top dance companies.
Performances at The Riverfront included Gary Clarke Company on 16 March at 3pm, James Cousins Company and Aakash Odedra Company double bill on 16 March at 6pm and Gecko on 18 March at 3pm.
Wales Millennium Centre will be presenting two triple bills in the Donald Gordan Theatre including Scottish Dance Theatre, Russell Maliphant Company and Phoenix Dance Theatre on 16 March at 8pm and National Dance Company Wales, Candoco Dance Company and Hofesh Shechter Company on 17 March at 8pm. Tickets for the public shows can be booked through the venues.
Within the extensive showcase programme young audiences will be treated to three performances including a bouncy castle show at The Riverfront for invited local children and their guardians. One-day passes and sector gathering will be offered to local and UK based artists and producers providing them with opportunities to network with key players in the international dance industry.
An ambitious live streaming programme will provide viewers at home with opportunity to see 16 companies work, interviews with artists and presenters and behind the screens footage between 11am and 11pm on Thursday 17th March. The link can be found on the website www.britishdanceedition.com along with further information about the programme and showcase.
Main image: Gary Clarke Company