Get ready for Lift of Dance Festival at South Hill ParkBy Caroline Cook
March 01, 2013
An exciting programme of professional and community dance will get underway at South Hill Park this weekend.
The arts centre's annual Lift Off Dance Festival starts on Saturday and looks set to be bigger and better than ever.
More than 40 youth, community and school dance groups will be leaping and twirling around the Wilde Theatre stage over the next two months.
There will also be a chance to catch a glimpse of two prestigious professional dance companies and to watch screenings of dance films.
"Lift Off is the most wonderful event for bringing together people from all walks of life, with the most diverse interest in dance, and from every corner of Berkshire and beyond," says South Hill Park chief executive Ron McAllister. "Our wonderful in-house professional team brings out the best in everyone!"
Dancers from around Berkshire will showcase their talents during three community gala shows, with performers aged five to 80 taking to the stage.
South Hill Park's resident company Berkshire County Dance Company Youth will perform at each gala along with other groups including BARTA, Surrey Boys Dance Company and Jawahir Bellydance.
As well as seeing some of the best local talent there will be a chance to watch performances from international renowned dance groups Amarita Vargas and Ballet Black.
Ballet Black has been making a huge impression in the dance world since its formation in 2001 and is quickly becoming the premier ballet company for international dancers of black and Asian descent.
The company, which aims to bring ballet to a more diverse audience, will perform a compelling new programme as part of Lift Off, with a mixed bill of four new ballets.
British choreographer Christopher Marney has created a new story ballet for the company which explores relations built during World War Two.
Audiences will be able to experience the loneliness of the women left at home, the aftermath of a soldier's service, the fun of London dance halls and the sights and sounds of the Blitz spirit.
Also on the bill for this year's festival is Flamenco dance company Amarita Vargas.
Bringing a taste of Spain to Bracknell Amarita Vargas presents an evening of hot-blooded Flamenco dancing, with firey dance steps and Spanish sounds playing by a guitarist on the stage.
Those inspired by the show will then be able to try out the hand clicking, foot stomping Flamenco moves for themselves at a workshop with the company.
"Participants get the opportunity to take part in workshops with some of the outstanding professional companies which visit South Hill Park and audiences can simply soak up the sheer exuberance of dance in all its many facets. Truly inspirational," says Ron.
Lift Off programme
Youth and Community Gala 1 – Saturday, March 2, 7.30pm. £11.50, concessions £10.50, members £9.50.
Rambert Dance Company Masterclass (beginner level) – Saturday, March 2, 4pm-5.30pm. £10, concessions and members £7.
FILM: Zero Degrees – Thursday, March 14, 7.45pm. £7.80, concessions and members £6.30.
Schools Gala – Friday, March 15, 7.30pm. £11.50, concessions £10.50, members £9.50.
Youth and Community Gala 2 – Saturday, March 16, 7.30pm. £11.50, concessions £10.50, members £9.50. £10, concessions and members £7.
Rambert Dance Company Masterclass (intermediate level) – Saturday, March 16, 4pm-5.30pm
Amarita Vargas, Flamenco Intimo Show – Thursday, March 21, 8pm. £11.50, concessions £10.50, members £9.50, dance groups £8.50.
Amarita Vargas Flamenco Workshop (suitable for ages 12+) – Sunday, March 24, 3pm-5.30pm. £10, concessions and members £7.
FILM: Sacred Monsters – Thursday, March 28, 7.45pm. £7.80, concessions and members £6.30.
Ballet Black – Sunday, April 21, 7.30pm. £18.50, concessions £17.50, members £16.50, under 16s £11.50, family £52.