Alternative LDIF20 celebrates anniversary online

Published: 25 April 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Annual Leicester dance festival Let’s Dance International Frontiers will celebrate its tenth anniversary online after the cancellation of its physical festival due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, from 29 April to 16 May.

Pawlet Brookes, Artistic Director and CEO of Serendipity, said, “LDIF is all about connections. For the last nine years, this festival has fostered creative collaborations and brought together the international dance ecology. We are excited to embrace the technologies that allow us to stay connected globally, and to continue sharing the incredible work of these artists in the face of an unprecedented situation that is impacting people around the world. We hope that Alternative LDIF20 will enable those missing out on cultural experiences to enjoy a diverse programme celebrating international dance, that can be accessed globally, safely and for free.

“When we told the artists—who were due to appear at LDIF20—that we would have to postpone LDIF20 and explained that we would be hosting a digital dance festival, the response was phenomenal. Many came forward with dance films and performances to include in the line-up. It felt that, despite being in the midst of a difficult situation, we had the opportunity to be creative and both the artists and the team were sparked by this. In fact, the collective dance short, 30 Seconds of Freedom, was inspired by a conversation I had with Alice Sheppard and Candace Feldman from Kinetic Light while Dance Dialogues is an opportunity to revisit some of the discussions from past LDIF conferences, with the blessing of artists we’ve worked with over the last ten years. It’s brought an international dance community together, albeit digitally.”

Alternative LDIF20 will launch on 29 April, International Dance Day, at 7PM via Zoom with an evening that will include the launch of a new book, LDIF: 10 Years in the Making—written by Pawlet Brookes with a foreword by Gladys M Francis, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Georgia State University, and poetry by Norwegian dance practitioner Thomas Prestø—online exhibition Black Men in Dance: Masculinity in Motion and a short film looking back at the last decade of dance.

Dance Dialogues is a daily programme which presents the thinking and practices of artists, choreographers and academics from the African and African Caribbean diaspora who have made a significant impact in shaping the international dance ecology.

Alternative LDIF20 programme

Launch: 29 April, 7PM: an online launch for Alternative LDIF20, the première of a short documentary about the publication of new book LDIF: 10 Years in the Making and the launch of the online exhibition Black Men in Dance: Masculinity in Motion.

Black Men in Dance: Masculinity in Motion: 29 April–16 May: black men in dance describe in their own words how masculinity is portrayed and perceived in various genres of dance.

Dance Dialogues: 5–16 May daily throughout the festival, 11AM: archive footage from past conferences, Dance Dialogues featuring speakers Kyle Abraham, S Ama Wray, Gladys M Francis, Thomas Prestø, Nora Chipaumire, Chester Morrison, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Ronald K Brown, L’Antoinette Stinesn and Joan Myers Brown

Serendipity Podcast Launch: 5 May, 7PM: Serendipity launches new podcast, exploring the issues, stories and people behind LDIF

LDIF20 Short Film Screening: 7 May, 4PM: a diverse programme of short films exploring dance, storytelling, identity and expression. Following the screening, there will be a discussion of the work. Featuring The Man Who Travelled Nowhere In Time (2019), SAETA: The Mourning (2016), PRIDE.forms. (2018), EXILE (2017), HOME (2019), Midnight Bloom (2017), Lil Buck with Icons of Modern Art.

Alice Sheppard: Where Good Souls Fear: 7 May, 7PM: Alice Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies.

Tabanka Dance Ensemble: 8 May, 7PM: Tabanka presents a new work, shared online for the first time

Annabel the Rebel: 9 May, 7PM: Annabel Guérédrat and Henri Tauliaut from Artincidence present their short documentary Annabel the Rebel, exploring their artistic practice of live art and movement in Martinique, followed by Thoughts from FIAP, a short film created by Pawlet Brookes following her trip to the festival last year.

Yinka Esi Graves: The Disappearing Act (Work in Progress): 12–15 May, 7PM: with a short film each evening, flamenco dancer Yinka Esi Graves explores the constant play between being seen and invisibility as a response to sites in Spain once connected to their Afro-Andalusian population.

30 Seconds of Freedom: 16 May, 7PM: inspired by conversations with artists in the midst of the current situation, 30 Seconds of Freedom is a collective dance short bringing together dancers from around the world in an expression of movement, a step outside of reality and a breath in a time of social distancing. Anyone can submit 30 seconds of movement, in any style or genre, filmed in a horizontal aspect ratio and e-mailed to [email protected] by Monday 27 April.