Dancers from around the world descend for Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance

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Dancers from across the globe have descended on the Tees Valley for the start of an international festival.

The Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance is under way and it began in fine style.

Chilean dancers who are taking part in the Festival

Chilean dancers who are taking part in the Festival

Performers from the USA visited a care home and treated the residents to an exhibition of their moves.

And for dance lovers, there’s plenty more performances to enjoy between now and the finale on August 15.

As well as dancing, this year’s celebration also includes a screen-dance-art installation to enjoy in Billingham Town Centre.

Artistic director of the festival, Olga Maloney said: “Having a diverse range of events at the festival is great, and the screen-dance-art installation does just that.”

A Chinese dance troupe which is part of the Billingham festival

A Chinese dance troupe which is part of the Billingham festival

Hundreds of dancers are in Billingham, representing countries such as Brazil, Chile, China, Mexico, the Philippines, Serbia, USA and Sicily.

Highlights so far have included the opening ceremony and an American hoedown with Bailey Mountain Cloggers troupe.

Yesterday’s events included a concert in Billingham with troupes from the Philippines and the USA.

There is plenty more to come, such as a concert tomorrow at 2.30pm at the Festival Arena in Billingham, with performers from China, Chile, Philippines, Mexico and Serbia.

Further concerts are planned on Wednesday at the area, at 2.30pm and 8pm. International dancing at the arena is also planned at 2.30pm, on Thursday and Friday.

Also on Friday, a World Gala Dance Concert featuring all of the international performers will be held at the Forum Theatre in Billingham, at 7.30pm.

The finale of the festival will be held next Saturday, starting with a farewell gala concert at 2.30pm, featuring all of the dance companies.

It will be followed by a mini-gala concert and closing ceremony at 7.30pm. More than 10,000 people are expected to watch the festival.

For details, visit www.billinghamfestival.co.uk/store or call (01642) 553220.