Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance set to return in style
Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance (BIFF) returns this month.
In its 55th year the festival is going from strength to strength still attracting some of the finest traditional and contemporary dancers and performance groups from around the world.
The first country to touchdown and jet into Billingham are Ensemble Bagrati from Georgia, who will be amazing audiences with their unique style of traditional military inspired dance. The other countries showcasing their talents in Billingham this year are Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ireland, India, Slovakia, South Korea and of course the United Kingdom.
The festival programme, which runs from August 10-18, has been devised by Artistic Director Olga Maloney and Balbir Singh of Balbir Singh Dance Company.
“There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere created by the festival. It manages to capture the imagination of people of all ages as everyone who has grown up in the region has at some point got a memory sparked by the festival,” said artistic director, Olga Maloney.
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“This year is extra special as we are dedicating our Follow your Dreams theme to the legendary figure skater John Curry, who was one of the leading skaters of his generation in what would’ve been his seventieth year. The shows being devised and performed in his honour will have audiences in awe of the skills being portrayed.”
The John Curry inspired shows include The Creative Spirit of John Curry, an ice spectacular featuring the Dancing on Ice superstars Mark Hanretty, Vanessa Bauer and Nina Ulanova accompanied by a whole host of other international figure skating champions, all taking to the ice at the Billingham Forum Ice Arena.
To accompany The Creative Spirit of John Curry there will also be a movement flash mob inspired by Curry’s famous routine Don Quixote with the hope being over 300 people will dance the same steps in the centre of Billingham during the Festival (August 14).
The opening ceremony is free with new ambassador Diane Youdale (Jet from Gladiators) hosting, After that the Opening Gala will take place at 3pm, where tickets will be priced at £8 (adults) and £2 (children).
For all ticket information including prices, times, locations, workshop details please visit www.billinghamfestival.co.uk