Folklore festival opens

Dancers from Ukraine at the Billingham International Folklore Festival 2013. Picture by Danielle Cutler
Dancers from Ukraine at the Billingham International Folklore Festival 2013. Picture by Danielle Cutler
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AN annual celebration of traditional dance and music from around the world is up and running.

The 49th Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance is bringing music and dance from all over the world to the town for eight days of workshops and concerts.

The spectacular event opened at the weekend and performers from across the globe are attending the popular festival.

Organisers promise a variety of dance styles for people to enjoy from traditional to contemporary dance companies inspired by world traditional cultures, including Royal Chinese, Latin American, Basque and Kathak Dance, Chinese Martial Arts, precision clogging and hip hop.

There is also performances by outstanding UK professional companies – whose appearances are funded by the Arts Council – including, Zendeh, the cross art form theatre company, and “The Lock In” Dance Show, direct from Glastonbury Festival.

Among the performers is the Birmingham-based Sonia Sabri Company and their new production called Jugni.

The company’s appearance in Billingham is part of a UK tour of festivals and theatres around the UK this summer.

The company, which features a cast of five dancers performing to five musicians, will perform Jugni, which means female firefly, to the public in the festival arena in Billingham town centre on Thursday, August 15.

This year’s festival runs until August 17 and will feature a host of traditional international dance and music companies.

Daily concerts are also being held at venues across Billingham and also at Middlesbrough Town Hall.

For more information about Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance visit www.billinghamfestival.co.uk