A successful bid for funding from Arts Council England means they will be dancing in the streets of Kingston this summer.
Kingston Council has been given cash to launch Ignition, a new dance festival encouraging dance groups and companies to collaborate and provide opportunities for young people hoping to get into the groove.
As well as a website allowing organisations to promote and share their activities with other companies, Ignition will also commission some of the UK’s biggest and boldest dance groups to perform in Kingston during Big Dance Week, which runs from July 5 – 13.
Acts will include street acrobats Mimbre, who will perform their piece entitled Bench, and C-12 Dance Theatre Company, which brings its Market Stall performance to town on July 5 and 6.
A competition offering six up-and-coming dance companies the chance of being mentored by Kingston-based Ballet Boyz and the University of Roehampton will also be held.
Each group will develop a new work to be premiered during a showcase at the Rose Theatre on July 12 as part of the International Youth Arts Festival. Kathryn Woodvine, Kingston Council’s arts commissioning manager, said the idea for the festival was inspired by dance company Protein, which brought its (In)visible Dancing project to Kingston town centre in 2012.
The flashmob-type project saw performers spontaneously break out into dance, culminating in a dramatic finale outside the Bentall Centre watched by hundreds.
Ms Woodvine said: “The positive feedback for the 2012 Protein (In)visible Dance project had a big impact on the streets of Kingston.
“Ignition builds on that success by connecting dance companies and education providers in and around Kingston and by supporting emerging talent. “We are delighted that Arts Council England has been so supportive of this project and look forward to developing this exciting initiative.”
Ignition will be managed by choreographer Rosie Whitney-Fish, who said: “When the Arts Council asked me to do this I was really flattered.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity for dance companies and choreographers to get some expert mentoring, and the companies that have been commissioned to perform ave never been seen in Kingston before.
“I think it will be really unique.”