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Explosion of dance, colour and music in store at festival

Dancers from Argentina will be part of this year's Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance
Dancers from Argentina will be part of this year's Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance

Dancers from all corners of the globe are bringing their unique styles to the area this week.

Organisers of Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance are looking forward to ‘an explosion of dance, music and colour’.

Companies from all over the world will stage inspiring displays including Mexico, France, Argentina, Egypt, Ukraine, Canada and Chile, with Taiko drummers from Japan.

The 54th festival, which starts on Saturday, August 11, will also feature ice skating, music, visual arts and world-class culture.

Thousands of visitors are expected to enjoy the spectacle.

Olga Maloney, artistic director of the festival, said: “This year the festival promises to be even more astounding, with a real explosion of dance, music and colour, there really is something for everyone and all ages.

“There are performances every day in Billingham over the nine-day festival, as well as a range of workshops and the Uncle BIFF’s Kids Club.”

The festival opens with a colourful Parade of Nations through Billingham Town Centre from 1.30pm on Saturday.

Dancing on Ice star, Mark Hanretty will play a leading role in the world premiere of Ikebana, the Journey in Quest of Harmony, on Saturday night at Billingham Forum Theatre and Ice Arena.

Mark will perform with a display of aerial dance and skating.

The fusion of art and sport features 300 international performers, world-class ice skaters, dancers, actors, musicians, Taiko drummers from Japan and a large community cast, taking the audience on a journey across two different venues.

Funded by Arts Council England it is inspired by the Japanese art of flower making.

The festival is on until Sunday, August 19. For information about performances and tickets visit the website at www.billinghamfestival.co.uk