Brunch, VR and Brexit at Birmingham International Dance Festival

Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF) kicks off this Friday (1 June) with a professional dance industry programme running alongside the main festival schedule.

Supported by funding from Dance Hub Birmingham (UK), BIDF has brought in partners from Birmingham and the Midlands to connect dance practice to artists and audiences.

Paul Russ, associate artistic director of BIDF said, “I’m always deeply inspired by the perspectives artists bring to conversations about how we can all consider ourselves in the world, how we can make positive contributions to making the world a more dynamic, socially conscious and open place to be”.

The programme includes Slowing & Stilling by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in partnership with BIDF (11-12 June). The session will explore slow movement philosophies, with participating artists asked to think, talk, write, dance, rest and eat together, in the context of a ‘time short, product obsessed’ culture.

SALON BHAM!’ (13 June) asks “What does it mean to have a lifelong career in dance?”. Co-curated by Birmingham Dance Network, DanceXchange and C-DaRE at Coventry University, Liz Aggiss, Jonathan Burrows, Wendy Houston and Kerry Nicholls will dance and dine with the participants and discuss the challenges of sustainability, care, parenting and health.

Highlights of the professional strand include a lecture on virtual reality with Gilles Jobin, whose VR_I (see video link below) will be performed at BIDF (1-4 June); Midlands Made (5 – 8 June), a session led by artists from Birmingham and the Midlands; Portuguese choreographer Rui Horta will conduct a masterclass in choreography and space (14 June); Candoco Dance Company offer a professional class on 14 June and a Dancers Development Day on 15 June; James Batchelor will host workshops on site-specific work and ideas on 21 June.

Expect the Art 50/50 Brexit Brunch by Sky Arts and DanceXchange to be a packed event (23 June). Presented in partnership with the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, the sharing of ideas session will centre on the current state Brexit as part of the Sky Arts, Art 50/50 project led by internationally renowned choreographer, Gary Clarke. Brunch is included.

Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF), produced by Birmingham-based DanceXchange, runs from 1 – 24 June 2018. Tickets for sessions can be bought individually or as a £45 pass. See for the full programme.