Big Dance Goes National in 2012
4 May 2011
Wayne McGregor unveils plans for Trafalgar Square and the Big Dance international schools initiative is launched
Big Dance, London’s Legacy Trust UK programme, delivered by the Mayor of London and Arts Council England, announced today plans for Big Dance 2012, taking place from 7-15 July 2012, as part of London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.
Big Dance, founded in 2006 by the Mayor of London in partnership with Arts Council England, is the world’s biggest and most influential dance initiative. More than a major biennial dance festival, Big Dance is a vibrant, high profile campaign to get everyone taking part – wherever they are, whatever their age, experience or ability. Over 2 million people have taken part in Big Dance since it began, with events taking place in unusual locations including shopping centres, parks, bridges, sports centres, beaches, bandstands, bunkers, swimming pools, schools, in streets and public squares and travelling events on the Big Dance Bus as well as in performance spaces all over London.
Big Dance London, which is supported by Legacy Trust UK, Mayor of London and Arts Council England, includes major new events and continues to be co-ordinated through a partnership between the five Big Dance Hubs: East London Dance, English National Ballet, Greenwich Dance, Sadler’s Wells, Siobhan Davies Dance.
In 2012, the programme for Big Dance will expand to reach out beyond London to communities all over England through a network of leading national dance organisations co-ordinated by the Foundation for Community Dance. These hub leads include: South East Dance, Dance South West/Pavilion Dance, Dance 4, Merseyside Dance Initiative, Yorkshire Dance, DanceEast and Dance City. Plans are underway for similar hub networks in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Wayne McGregor, Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor|Random Dance, and Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet will set the vision and choreographic framework for 2012, and will work directly on the creation of a new dance piece for 2,000 dancers in Trafalgar Square to be premiered on Saturday 14 July 2012. Alongside members of his dance company, Wayne McGregor|Random Dance and in partnership with dance groups, emerging and professional dancers and choreographers from a range of dance backgrounds across London, this will be a large scale collaborative and creative choreographic project.
Working in collaboration with the British Council, Big Dance will reach out to schools all over the world in 2012. School children will be able to take part in a global record breaker to create the largest multi-location dance routine ever performed at 1pm on Friday 18 May 2012, to coincide with the arrival of the Olympic Torch in the UK, marking the start of the seven- week countdown to Big Dance Week. This project, which is part of the British Council’s schools programme, invites all schools to provide 20 minutes of dance activity every day in Big Dance week. In 2010 The Big Dance Schools Pledge encouraged over 40,000 children to get up and dance.
Jacqueline Rose, Big Dance Director, said today: “Big Dance is testament to the creative power of this country’s dance community, working together. We believe Big Dance can be an enduring model for development of participation in dance in the future. It will create a celebratory platform for rising talent, and an opportunity for world class choreographers to meet exciting new creative challenges.”
Wayne McGregor said: “I am excited at the prospect of being part of Big Dance. A major part of my preoccupation over the last few years has been to see how I can find ways to inspire creativity among young dancers and choreographers. Trafalgar Square will be the ultimate dance stage for all of us work on. I hope we will turn Big Dance into not just a celebration but a real movement.”
Jacqueline Rose took up the role of Big Dance Director in April 2009. Prior to this, she was Senior Cultural Strategy Officer at the Greater London Authority, from 2005. In 2006, she was responsible for creating the vision, developing the strategy for implementation, and the delivery of the first and second Big Dance. With a significant professional career and academic background in dance, she was a senior dance policy-maker from 1996 - 2005 at London Arts Board and Arts Council England and other local authorities including Rushmoor Borough Council; the implementer of creative strategic initiatives for the dance sector including: www.londondance.com, London Youth Dance Network and the Independent Dance Managers Network (IDMN), a teacher of contemporary and creative dance for adults, students, young people & toddlers and a dance lecturer at Reading University.
Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi award-winning British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. He is the Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor|Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London and Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet (appointed 2006). In January 2011, McGregor was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). From 2008-2010 McGregor was appointed the government?s first Youth Dance Champion. In 2004 McGregor was a Research Fellow at the Experimental Psychology Department of Cambridge University. McGregor is a frequent creator of new work for La Scala, Milan, Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet and English National Ballet; as well as movement director for theatre, film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and music video (Radiohead's Lotus Flower). His upcoming productions include new work for The Royal Ballet (May 2011), Paris Opera Ballet (June 2011) and an opera/dance collaboration for Wayne McGregor|Random Dance at Sadler's Wells (November 2011).
Photo: Big Dance 2010 in Trafalgar Square, copyright Kois Miah