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International agenda for Bristol’s newest festival

Posted on June 27, 2011

web step afrika

web-step-afrikaWorld Stage Festival makes its debut in Bristol this year on July 7–10 with a range of performers from around the world. Dance, music and theatre from France, Canada, Italy, Scotland and the US will fill Bristol stages in venues across the city. World Stage Festival promises a programme of live performances and interactive workshops to suit all age groups.

Dance highlights include, from Washington DC, Step Afrika! (pictured) in the Colston Hall with their percussive dance performance that uses kicks, stomps, claps and chants to create Gumboot and Zulu dance styles. Also performing in Colston Hall will be Afro-Brazilian group Aché Brasil in an electrifying performance that combines exhilarating acrobatics, dance and martial arts with highly charged dance-music rhythms.

In the more intimate setting of the Tobacco Factory Theatre, the award-winning Puppet State Theatre Company will perform their captivating adaptation of Jean Giono’s environmental cult classic The Man Who Planted Trees in a show suitable for audiences of eight and above. In the Arnolfini, French theatre company Les Voisins will present The Queen of Colour for four to seven-year-olds, a mix of live music, live painting, shadow puppetry and live video, in an award-winning children’s show.

Also in the Arnolfini and catering for the youngest age group (18 months to 4-year-olds) Italian theatre company Teatro Kismet will present their entrancing theatre piece Little Mysteries, which uses song, chants, mime and movement and takes children through a series of short magical scenes inspired by the rituals of traditional bread making.

Artistic producer Colin Gorrie said: “We’re very excited about the balance of large-scale events and more intimate live arts experiences in the programme for our first festival. As well as performances, our international acts will be providing top-class workshop opportunities for schools and families across the city and some will also provide free entertainment in Anchor Square for passing Bristol residents and visitors.

“Follow us on Twitter for all the latest news and developments…Workshops are already filling up across the city, with the likes of Ilu Axe, Little Rays Puppets, Bristol Storytelling Festival, Poetry Slam and Bristol Capoeira offering workshops in Brazilian drumming, puppet making, storytelling, movement and music, slam poetry and capoeira.

“Each workshop relates to an international performance offering opportunities for the wealth of local performing companies to showcase their talent and collaborate with the visiting international performers. Look out for details of the special Gala performance planned to take place on the Saturday night at Colston Hall.”

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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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