These Dancing on Ice stars are set to stun at this year's international dance festival at Billingham

Glitz, glamour and celebrity ice-dancers at international festival this summer.

By Sally Burton
Friday, 21 June, 2019, 11:40
Ice dancer Vanessa Bauer

Three of Europe’s hottest ice dancers are set to stun crowds at this year’s Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance from August 10-18.

The dancers who captivated viewers of ITV’s Dancing on Ice are Mark Hanretty, who partnered presenter Donna Air, Loose Women's Nadia Sawalha and fitness diva Rosemary Conley, former Dancing on Ice champ Vanessa Bauer, who partnered X Factor star Jake Quickenden and Wes Nelson of Love Island, and another former champion, Russia’s Nina Ulanov, who partnered Emmerdale’s Matthew Wolfenden and Corrie’s Steven Arnold.

Performing “The Creative Spirit of John Curry”, they will pay special tribute to the sensational Olympic, World and European figure skating champion whose life was cut short at 44 from an AIDS related illness.

The celebration is choreographed by Mark Hanretty, Balbir Singh Company and Yebin Mok, who also appears in the showcase.

Other dancers will come from countries all over the globe.

Festival highlights include a family concert, Scenes of Childhood, Love and Spice, encompassing dance, music and food by the Balbir Singh Company, 1001 Dreams, Irish & Indian Dreams and Don Quixote – a flash mob curated by Eliot Smith Dance.

Keeping the local North East connection, both spectacular opening and closing ceremonies are choreographed by Robby Graham of Newcastle-based Southpaw Dance Company.

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“This promises to be the festival of all festivals,” said Olga Maloney, artistic director of the festival.

“Our theme this year is Follow your Dreams, and we will be encouraging everyone to join us. The graceful John Curry will be forever remembered for his achievements, so we are dedicating this year’s festival to his talents.”

Jane Tarr, director, North, Arts Council England, said: “This is a great event which provides opportunity for international artists from around the world to bring their talents, skills and creativity to audiences across Stockton-on-Tees.”

For ticket information, visit www.billinghamfestival.co.uk

Book online via the website or call (01642) 553 220.

People can follow BIFF 2019 on Twitter (@BillFest) and Facebook.

Ice dancer Vanessa Bauer.