NEW! Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2020 from 29 April to 16 May in Leicester

14/01/2020

LET’S DANCE INTERNATIONAL FRONTIERS 2020

Leicester’s annual dance festival celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2020 with a thrilling programme of dance and performance from the UK, USA, Norway, Cuba, Martinique, Tanzania, Italy and more

April 29th – May 16th at venues across Leicester

Tickets: www.ldif.co.uk   https://serendipity-uk.com/programme/

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

April 29th – LDIF20 opens in dynamic style with the only UK performance by the award-winning, celebrated American choreographer/dancer KYLE ABRAHAM at Leicester Gallery, De Montfort University.  Kyle will perform a new solo work, Cocoon.  Not to be missed.

From April 29th – Exhibition – Black Men in Dance: Masculinity In Motion – another first for LDIF.  A superbly curated photographic exhibition featuring rare photos and footage from the past up to the present day.

May 5th – Conference and workshops featuring international keynote speakers and dance practitioners.  This year’s theme is 10 YEARS, 10 COUNTRIES, 10 VOICES: BLACK CLASSICS.

May 6th – Signatures – an exciting programme of new work from Spain, Tanzania, France and Sweden at Curve Leicester.

May 7thAlice Sheppard, British/American disabled dancer and choreographer, at Curve Studio

May 9th – Artincidence, the performance art company from Martinique, take audiences around the New Walk Museum in their contemporary piece Nudes Descending The Staircase.

May 11th, 12th – Phoenix Cinema screens dance documentary films

May 13th – Autograph – new work by young British artists developed by Serendipity at the Guildhall

May 15th, 16th – PHILADANCO ballet company from Philadelphia close the festival at Curve Leicester

LDIF20 is produced by SERENDIPITY, the diversity-led arts producing organisation based in Leicester and run by its award-winning CEO and Artistic Director Pawlet Brookes. This year the organisation celebrates 10 years of curating and producing LET’S DANCE INTERNATIONAL FRONTIERS.

Says Pawlet: ‘The tenth anniversary of Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2020 (LDIF20) is going to be very special. I’m thrilled that we’re celebrating ten years of bringing dance from around the world to audiences in the city and beyond, and that we have, over those ten years, supported and developed work by a huge number of talented young artists.

‘The legacy of the festival means we have also scored a number of firsts: ballet company PHILADANCO made their UK debut in 2017 at LDIF; the Deaf Dance pioneer Antoine Hunter made his debut at LDIF and many award-winning artists who will be with us this year including Kyle Abraham, Reggie Wilson, Alice Sheppard, Thomas Prestø, showcase world class, culturally diverse dance.

‘During LDIF20 we will revisit some of the highlights from past festivals. We are delighted to be welcoming backback Kyle Abraham with a new solo work Cocoon, in his only UK performance, and PHILADANCO with an exciting mixed bill of work. I’m particularly proud this year of the new work we’ll be presenting in our two development programmes: Autograph and Signatures. Annabel Guérédrat and Henri Tauliaut are presenting a site-specific work inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending the Staircase at New Walk Museum’s spiral staircase. And the conference will be a vital ticket for anyone interested in how performance art is presented globally.

‘At Serendipity we are enormously proud of what we’ve achieved with LDIF in bringing global dance to audiences in Leicester and showing that dance really is a universal language where everyone is welcome.’

This year’s theme is: 10 YEARS, 10 COUNTRIES, 10 VOICES: BLACK CLASSICS. 

The keynote speakers at the annual conference are Eduardo Vilaro, choreographer, educator, and artistic director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico in New York City and the award-winning dancer/choreographer and Professor and Graduate Director Cynthia Oliver at the University of Illinois. Featured speakers include Thomas Prestø, Artistic Director of Tabanka Dance Ensemble in Norway whose masterclass was a huge hit at last year’s LDIF, the US-based, British-born disabled dancer/choreographer Alice Sheppard and the dancer/choreographer/writer/curator Makeda Thomas who splits her time between Trinidad and New York.

‘I was keen to capture the significance and legacy of what has come before,’ continues Pawlet. ‘I wanted to create a forum where the artists are centre stage, particularly artists who have paved the way for dance from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora, whether providing opportunities, developing techniques or creating new aesthetics.’

Serendipity work closely with Leicester’s venues and will be presenting work at Curve, All Saint’s Church, Leicester Guildhall, Leicester Gallery at De Montfort University and New Walk Museum. British talent will be high on the agenda in LDIF’s development programme, Autograph, in which artists who have been mentored by Serendipity perform their work.

The seminal programme Biography will welcome Brooklyn-based dancer/choreographer/Artistic Director Reggie Wilson who will perform Introduction, a very personal recount of his experience of the Spiritual Baptists religion in Trinidad and Tobago.

Talks and workshops will be led by some wonderful performers and speakers including Léna Blou, the French Caribbean/Guadeloupean dancer, choreographer, and educator (right) and delegates to the conference, talks and workshops will be able to meet and converse with all the speakers after the presentations.

Phoenix Cinema will show two films: on May 11th ‘Step’, the 2017 American documentary film directed by Amanda Lipitz focuses on a Baltimore girls’ high school dance team – it’s based on a true story and won the US Documentary Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

May 12th ‘The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen’, the 2016 biographical documentary film by Jennifer Abod and Mary Duprey about the incredible life of Angela Bowen (1936–2018), the Black lesbian feminist activist, classical ballerina and renowned dance teacher.

Since Pawlet Brookes founded Let’s Dance International Frontiers in 2011, it has provided a vital performance platform for artists from the UK, USA, Canada, France, Sweden, Japan, Norway, Belgium, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Brazil, Senegal, Philippines, Zimbabwe, South Africa and more. In the ten years since then LDIF has grown and developed into a prestigious international dance festival. LDIF and Leicester have become a destination for world class dance and this is recognised locally, nationally and internationally.

‘Some of my highlights would have to be Catherine Dénécy’s performance in LDIF16 in the Victorian Gallery at New Walk Museum,’ concludes Pawlet. ‘Seeing a space transform through dance was quite remarkable, and sense of time and place really seemed to sweep over the audience. It really was a “you had to be there” moment. Last year, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence’s performance was also one of those moments where everyone was just suspended in time, the company really have that “Je ne sais quoi” and no one wanted to leave after the show. Making connections with choreographers such as Ronald K. Brown, Nora Chipaumire, Germaine Acogny, Kyle Abraham, PHILADANCO, Thomas Prestø, Namron, Jackie Guy, Brenda Edwards, S. Ama Wray, Brenda Dixon Gottschild and countless others – leaders and trailblazers – has been a wonderful experience. Every year I am grateful for the opportunity to work and collaborate with remarkable people.’

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