See below for the awards already made through the Exceptional Awards programme.

The Stables

Rosemary Lee's 'Under The Vaulted Sky'

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival

The Stables has been selected to receive an Exceptional Award of £215,000 from Arts Council England for 'Under the Vaulted Sky' - an ambitious dance project commissioned from choreographer Rosemary Lee for IF: Milton Keynes International Festival.

Award-winning choreographer Rosemary Lee has been inspired by Milton Keynes’ magical Cathedral of Trees in the city’s Campbell Park to create ‘Under The Vaulted Sky’. The performances in July 2014 will be the culmination of a year-long residency that will have seen Rosemary work with professional and non-professional dancers from across the region.

Situated on an ancient ley line that runs through Central Milton Keynes, The Cathedral of Trees was planted more than 40 years ago on the exact footprint of Norwich Cathedral by landscape architect Neil Higson. Different species of trees represent the character of the Cathedral's sections - hornbeam and tall-growing lime for the nave, evergreens to represent the central tower and spires, flowering cherry and apple as a focus in the chapels. In springtime, colourful bulbs represent the sun shining through stained glass windows onto the ground.

Rosemary’s vision for ‘Under The Vaulted Sky’ will feature the participation of 100 dancers and live music and a specially-composed soundscape commissioned from award-winning composer and instrument maker Terry Mann. The audience will be invited to ‘promenade’ - to move and follow the performance as it weaves around the atmospheric environment of the Cathedral. 

As part of the legacy of ‘Under The Vaulted Sky’, Rosemary will create a film to be installed in other cathedrals in the UK and around the world.

‘Under The Vaulted Sky’ is also supported by Milton Keynes Council, The Parks Trust and South East Dance, and sponsored by the University of Bedfordshire. It will premiere over the first weekend of the 10-day International Festival that will also feature music, comedy, contemporary circus and cabaret in a beautiful Belgian Spiegeltent; a spectacular fire and water event on Willen Lake; and a festival for children.

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival runs across various locations and venues in Central Milton Keynes from 18 to 27 July 2014.