Top American talent at Leicester dance festival

Published: 11 March 2017
Reporter: Steve Orme

Modern American dance company Philadanco Credit: Lois Greenfield

The UK debut of Philadelphia ballet company Philadanco and the return of New York dance company Urban Bush Women are two of the highlights of the Leicester annual festival Let’s Dance International Frontiers.

The 2017 event, from Saturday 29 April until Saturday 13 May, features a programme designed to give audiences the opportunity of seeing work by nationally and internationally renowned dance companies and new work delivered by fast-rising names from the UK.

The theme will be identity and choreographic practice. The 2017 programme is designed to “embrace the cosmopolitan nature of Leicester” by bringing diversity to the forefront in dance while celebrating the work of dancers at all stages of their careers.

Produced by Serendipity, an organisation based at Leicester’s De Montfort University, LDIF 17 will stage works by up-and-coming dancers and choreographers including Protocol, Jessica Walker, Si Rawlinson and Ella Mesma.

The festival begins on 29 April, International Dance Day, at Leicester’s Mercure Hotel King’s Ballroom with Urban Bush Women’s jazz-inspired programme.

Pawlet Brookes, Serendipity’s executive artistic director, said, “we’re delighted to be able to present this programme featuring high-calibre dancers and choreographers from around the world.

“Over the past seven years, we’ve welcomed some remarkable dance companies to Leicester and this year is no different, with trailblazing dance company Philadanco and its founder Joan Myers Brown.”

Peter Knott, area director of Arts Council England, added, “one of the Arts Council’s ambitions is to see our National Lottery funding giving people the chance to enjoy great arts events in the places they live and this year’s Leicester International Dance Festival promises to do just that.

“It’ll be great to see audiences enjoying artists from around the globe while also providing an important platform for conversations about diversity within our country’s dance sector.”

Curve and Attenborough Arts Centre are among the venues taking part. The full programme is available at the Let’s Dance International Frontiers web site.