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Big Dance countdown

Posted on May 14, 2012


Big Dance is back and for this special Olympic year it promises to be bigger and better than ever, featuring an international programme and partnerships with Olympic and Paralympic host cities Beijing and Rio.

In support of Big Dance Beijing, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance have undertaken a residency working with Beijing City Contemporary Dance Company and artistic director Teng Aimin, led by Beijing Olympic Development Association. 

In Rio, their residency is hosted by the Centro Coreográfico da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro on behalf of the Secretaria de Cultura – Prefeitura da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, who are taking the lead to deliver Big Dance Rio. 

Big Street Dance Day on July 14 will see Beijing, London and Rio share the limelight with celebrations of dance in public spaces in all three cities and across the UK, with Trafalgar Square as the main stage.

Though Big Dance Week takes place from July 7 to 15, the warm-up events start this Friday, May 18, the day the Olympic Torch arrives in the UK, with the Big Dance Schools Pledge at 1pm (British Summer Time). 

The Big Dance Schools Pledge is a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest simultaneous multi-venue dance routine, taking place in over 2,000 schools representing over 500,000 school children in 53 countries, organised in association with the British Council. 

The five‐minute dance has been choreographed by Wayne McGregor to specially created music by Joel Cadbury and Scanner and has an Olympic theme.

The UK programme of over 500 events is part of the London 2012 Festival, the 12-week nationwide celebration running from June 21 until September 9 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. 

For more on dates and listings, see the June issue of Dance Today or visit

Photograph © Kois Miah

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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