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Big Dance offers the South East nine action-packed days as part of London 2012 Festival

  • Date: 5 July 2012
  • Area: South East
Big Dance South East England 2010, Brighton

Big Dance South East England 2010, Brighton. Credit: Photo © Elaine Mayson. Image courtesy of South East Dance

The UK’s biggest celebration of dance unveils another exciting programme this year, providing imaginative, free opportunities for people to get involved in dance, including dance tasters, performances, mass-participation dance event and more.

This year’s national Big Dance runs from 7 to 15 July 2012 – in the South East, we will enjoy Big Dance 2012 South East England (BD12SEE), which is organised by leading dance organisation and Arts Council England National portfolio organisation(NPO) South East Dance.

All of the events happening here and across the country are part of the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival, a 12-week UK-wide cultural celebration for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, showcasing the world's best music, theatre, dance, visual art, literature, film and fashion in towns and cities across the country.

There is literally something for everyone, all over the south coast from Margate to Brighton and inland, from Hampshire right up to Milton Keynes and over to Kent, with over 30 dance events and activities happening across seven counties – most of them free. Big Dance is aimed at every level of dance, from beginner to expert, as well as people who are just happy to watch.

In Margate, Big Dance welcomes the Boat Project, the Arts Council’s flagship London 2012 Artist taking the lead project, with a performance at a beach shelter from Motionhouse, one of the UK's foremost dance theatre companies, and a processional dance performance with the Karavan Ensemble on Saturday 14 July.

Brighton plays host to an exciting weekend of dance on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July. On 14 July, people are invited to drop in to Hove Lawns on Brighton seafront between 12 noon and 6pm for a variety of performances and workshops from Arts Council England NPO Hofesh Shechter, T21 Dance and West Dean School, Avant Garde Dance, Three Score Dance Company and Ragroof Theatre Company. Jubilee Library and Brighton Dome will also both be locations for performance and a tea dance on 15 July.

In Hastings, the newly-opened Jerwood Gallery will house a site-specific dance performance from choreographer Charlotte Spencer in response to the gallery’s environment on Saturday 14 July. 

All across Surrey, Big Dance workshops, performances and films for all ages will be staged in local libraries and at associated events on Saturday 7 July to Sunday 14 July. Highlights include Paper Solo, Humpty Dumpty as well as performances from 3 Wheelers Dance Company, Arts Council NPO StopGap Dance Company and 2nd Hand Dance Company. The programme ties in with Woking Party in the Park (7 July) and a celebration of dance at Birtley House (9 July).

In Oxford, Christ Church Meadow will be the setting for the The Caucus Race at Merton Fields on 8 July, an outdoor event for all ages inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and showcasing dance, street theatre and music.

Medway residents will be able to enjoy Moving Medway, a free spectacular mass-participation dance event on Sunday, 8 July 12-3pm at Medway Park, Gillingham. A highlight of the festival is ‘Current Being’, a new work from Loop Dance Company and choreographer Joss Arnott, commissioned by Medway Council and South East Dance and inspired by the River Medway. Other activities include community dance performances, a variety of workshops such as zumba, street dance and break dance workshops, and yoga and relaxation techniques, and free refreshments.

Big Dance runs across the country 7 to 15 July 2012. To see the full programme of Big Dance 2012 South East England activities, see http://www.southeastdance.org.uk/performances-events/performances-a-events.html