Online summer and live autumn programmes to take place throughout the city.
The programme for the new all-digital summer edition of Birmingham International Dance Festival has been released, with eighteen newly commissioned dance films and over seventy online events, from Birmingham Royal Ballet, Akram Khan Company and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, to the very best screendance work from the West Midlands, the UK and across the globe, plus a host of workshops and activities for the public to enjoy. Birmingham’s signature festival presents an incredible opportunity to connect people in a joyful, inspiring, celebration of dance and togetherness.
Produced by DanceXchange and screened via a new viewer-friendly platform BIDF TV, the festival runs from 3rd–13th June with most of the screenings available free of charge. The full programme is now available to view here.
The summer digital edition will be followed by an autumn live edition of the Festival, 21st September–3rd October, featuring an outdoor programme showcasing local touring, youth engagement, co-productions and digital work.
Debbie Jardine, Chief Executive at DanceXchange, says: “The BIDF digital summer festival edition celebrates and champions the cutting-edge work now produced for the digital space responding to the huge outpouring of artistic creativity in this new medium, and rising online audiences.”
“Splitting our festival into two parts, moving our outdoor edition to a more Covid secure date in the autumn, created space for this exciting new all-digital programme in our usual June spot in the dance calendar, providing fresh opportunities to commission original work and showcase some of the best UK and international screendance.”
Lucie Mirkova, Head of Artistic Programmes at DanceXchange and Curator of BIDF says: “It has been a fantastic experience working on a fully digital programme for the summer edition of BIDF with the aim of bringing a great range of inspiring dance experiences to our audiences. We have connected with artists from all over the world and explored the remarkable creativity in the genre of screendance. We have offered new commissions for dance artists to explore new innovative ways to create and present content in the online space.”
“We are thrilled to provide a window into the world of digital dance and share the many timely and important stories and different perspectives on the world we are living in. From Birmingham to the world and back in one online space of BIDF TV, our new digital platform.”
Highlights in the programme include:
• the online World Premiere of newly commissioned dance film Chotto Xenos from Akram Khan Company.
• Birmingham Royal Ballet’s new short film The Burning Building by Javier de Frutos, plus the first screening of City of a Thousand Trades, which will receive its live World Premiere, just before broadcast, at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
• Testament by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a tribute to Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece Revelations, presented in partnership with the Dance Consortium.
• the World Premiere of region-wide youth participation dance and digital project, Beyond Borders.
• new screendance commissions and an exciting series of Midlands Made films.
• four rich and varied series of international and UK screendance presentations including a collaboration with Flatpack Festival as part of their Screendance Award supported by DanceXchange.
• Outdoor Dance Collection 2021 (ODC21), a dance and outdoor arts industry programme of events which includes UK Dance Showcase and Dance & The Outdoors Symposium.
Peter Knott, Area Director of Arts Council England, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting Birmingham International Dance Festival – a real highlight in the UK’s cultural calendar, bringing world-class dance to the Midlands. BIDF brings with it great opportunities for artists to develop their practice and for audiences from across the globe to engage with creativity. As the sector begins to reopen and recover, it’s exciting to see that this year BIDF audiences can look forward to both a digital summer programme, and live work in the autumn.”
Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, Birmingham City Council said, “We are proud once again to support Birmingham International Dance Festival as a signature festival for the city, in celebrating the vital role of dance in the cultural life of Birmingham.
“This summer’s brand new online edition presents an incredible opportunity to reach out to new audiences far and wide, connecting people across borders, cultures and communities. BIDF generates excitement and pride, shining a spotlight on our vibrant international city as we pave the way for the Commonwealth Games cultural festival in 2022.”
Find out more at bidf.co.uk.