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Ten reasons to get excited about July

Posted on July 1, 2014

Think the summer is a quiet time for dance? Think again…

swing-big-dnce1) Big Dance is back The biennial celebration of all things terpsichorean will be launched on July 2 by ballerina and Strictly judge Darcey Bussell, this year’s Big Dance special ambassador, with highlights including the Big Commonwealth Dance. See our story for more. www.bigdance.org.uk

2) Something blue The UK premiere of Louise Lecavalier’s So Blue will take place on July 2 in Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Lecavalier is a Canadian dancer and former star of Édouard Lock’s acclaimed Canadian company La La La Human Steps. She has danced alongside David Bowie on his Sound+Vision Tour and features in his “Fame 90” music video, as well as dancing with Frank Zappa in The Yellow Shark concerts. An intensely personal work, So Blue begins with Lecavalier dancing solo, before evolving into a duet with Frederic Tavernini, a French classically trained dancer. www.southbankcentre.co.uk

3) A taste of Brazil! Jealous of the fun the football fans are having? The energy of Brazil comes to London this World Cup summer as Brasil Brasileiro returns to Sadler’s Wells from Tuesday, July 8 until Sunday, July 27. Featuring 37 performers from Rio de Janeiro, this production brings to life the spirit that makes Brazil unique, showing samba in all its forms, along with displays of forró, capoeira and batucada. www.sadlerswells.com

4) Step into Irish dance The National Dance Company of Ireland, featuring the Young Irish Tenors, tour the UK this summer with their show, Rhythm of the Dance (pictured right), opening in Cork on July 6. Covering everything from the disciplined rythm-of-the-dance-054
tradition of the Celtic step dance to the sensual moves of the Sean Nós dance, rooted solely in the ancient island of Innishbofin near Galway, Rhythm of the Dance is in its 15th year and has been seen by almost five million people in 59 countries. The 19 dancers are led by Marty McKay, who also danced in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, with choreography by Doireann Carney and the original music by Carl Hession. www.RhythmoftheDance.com

5) Support emerging female choreographers Curated by choreographer and creative producer Lydia Fraser-Ward, Women of Mass Destruction is a platform for emerging female choreographers and performance artists. Returning to Rich Mix following the sell-out success of the first event, the programme consists of short works on the theme of “Destroying Mother Earth”. Women of Mass Destruction 2 is at Rich Mix, on Friday, July 11 at 7.30pm. www.richmix.org.uk

6) Dancing on water Held in Henham Park in Suffolk from July 17 to 20, the eclectic Latitude Festival offers everything from big pop concerts to dance and literature in one setting. Dance performances take place on the floating Waterfront Stage, an open-air space on the lake. This year’s line-up includes world tango champions German Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi, Indian classical dance from Sonia Sabri and highlights from Dirty Dancing. www.latitudefestival.com

7) Porgy and Bess at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre A powerful story of love and betrayal, the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess is celebrated as a landmark piece of American theatre. Directed by Timothy Sheader with choreography by Liam Steel, this musical masterpiece includes “I Got Plenty of Nothing”, “It Ain’t Necessarily So”, “I Loves You Porgy” and “Summertime”, one of the most covered songs of all time. Porgy and Bess runs from July 17 to August 23. www.openairtheatre.com

8) Swing Out at the spiegeltent There’s a magic to dancing in the London Wonderground’s 1920s spiegeltent. With classes, cabaret and live music London Swing Dance Society next takes over this beautiful vintage venue on July 21. www.swingdanceuk.com

9) Take a trip to the seaside The 25th annual Bournemouth Summer Festival incorporates the United Kingdom Championships in the Purbeck Hall at the BIC. Watch the best ballroom and Latin American dancers in the UK battle for the top prizes from July 24 to July 27. www.dancepromotersassociation.co.uk

10) Pack a picnic Sadly the much loved Dance Al Fresco will not take place this summer, but there are plenty of other opportunities to get your kicks outside, from Cats on a Hot Tin Roof at Dalston Roof Park on July 3 and 10 to South London Lindy Hoppers‘ dancing at the bandstand in Greenwich Park on July 27 or the Spitalfields Tea Dance, which take place, very sensibly, under a glass roof on July 30.

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. Now acting editor of Discover Britain magazine, she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success.

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