Travel the world through contemporary dance this March at Birmingham Hippodrome

Travel the world through contemporary dance this March at Birmingham Hippodrome

From Kathak to contemporary, ballet to Bhangra and beyond, experience a world of dance at your fingertips this March at Birmingham Hippodrome.

On Sun 11 Mar, Shiamak UK productions invite audiences on a journey to the mystical heart of the Indian subcontinent in the feel-good song and dance spectacular, spirit of INDIA.

Presented by Bollywood singing sensation, Shiamak Davar – one of India’s foremost entertainment icons – spirit of INDIA – a SHIAMAK UK production, guides audiences through the rich history, diverse cultures and transformation of India into the modern era through the magic of music, sensational dance and a stunning chorus line of colourful and intricate costumes.

A celebration of India’s spirituality, mythology, festivals, flamboyant weddings, magnificent music, exhilarating dances and of course Bollywood, this production manifests the true spirit of this deeply multi-cultural nation.  Spirit of INDIA first debuted in August, 2017 to a packed house and a standing ovation. Soon after the premier in London, the production travelled to Paris to celebrate 70 years of Indian Independence at the prestigious Salle de Fete.

The show will be performed by 90 dancers from The SHIAMAK UK Dance Team and 300 students from The SHIAMAK Dance Academy in Greater London, Leicester, Birmingham, Coventry, Nottingham, Milton Keynes & Manchester. The evening performance of Spirit of INDIA will be accompanied by a pre-show curtain raiser performance featuring156 children drawn from local secondary schools.

Following its premiere in autumn 2017 and sell-out shows across the UK, Italy, Germany and Denmark, Warwickshire-based dance-company; Motionhouse make their first visit to Birmingham Hippodrome on Tues 13 Mar with their electrifying new dance-circus production Charge.

In Charge, art and science collide: Dance-circus, film and music take audiences on a journey deep into the human body, tracing the extraordinary story of electricity in our lives. From the electrical charge that sparks human life, to the beating of our hearts and the memories we make, six exceptional dancers bring Charge to life with athletic dance, awe-inspiring acrobatics and daring feats on the 5m-high set.

2018 marks 30 incredible years since Executive Director Louise Richards and Artistic Director Kevin Finnan, MBE founded the company in 1988. In three decades the company has presented more than 40 productions across the world, last year alone more than nearly 80,000 people saw the company perform or took part in one of its dynamic learning and participatory activities that continue to inspire the next generation of dancers and audiences.

Finnan worked with Professor Frances Ashcroft and her team at the University of Oxford to delve deeper into the science that influenced Charge. Ashcroft published ‘The Spark of Life’ about electricity in the human body and is recognised for her outstanding contributions to the public’s awareness of science.  Finnan’s Charge also explores the historical understanding of the role of electricity in the body, using Galvani’s experimentation with frogs to the popular interest in electricity that resulted in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this year celebrating its 200th anniversary.

The third element of Finnan’s ‘Earth Trilogy’, Charge builds on relevant environmental themes explored in Scattered (2009) and Broken (2013).

Commenting on Charge, Finnan said: “Charge takes my interest in contemporary themes about the world we live in one step further. Scattered tackled our relationship with water and Broken delved into our links with the Earth. For Charge I was inspired by a specific area of scientific research – our relationship with energy and the role electricity plays in the human body. We’re looking forward to bringing the third part of this trilogy to our audiences as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations.”

Completing this month’s high-energy offering are Canada’s leading contemporary dance company, Ballet British Columbia, who visit Birmingham Hippodrome on Fri 16 – Sat 17 Mar as part of their first UK Tour with a stunning triple-bill of exhilarating new work.

Ballet British Columbia’s only other UK engagement was two performances during International Dance Festival Birmingham 2016. Its 18-strong dancer-workforce returns to the UK for its first extended tour with the evening of dance that wowed festival audiences in 2016 – three works by three of the world’s most celebrated female choreographers: 16 + a room by Emily Molnar; Solo Echo by the globally renowned choreographer Crystal Pite; and Bill by Tel Aviv-based Sharon Eyal.

Molnar’s 16 + a room is inspired by the work of Virginia Woolf, Jeanette Winterson and Emily Dickinson. Sparked with explosive, fast-paced choreography that pushes the dancers to their athletic and technical limits, 16 + a room displays Molnar’s unique choreographic language through a complex study of time, transition and stillness.

Inspired by two sonatas for cello and piano by Brahms and the poem ‘Lines for Winter’ by Mark Strand, Pite’s Solo Echo portrays a man coming to terms with himself at the end of his life as the choreographer explores recurring themes of acceptance and loss.

The final piece of the evening is Bill by Tel Aviv-based choreographer Sharon Eyal. Dancers showcase their extraordinary skills in synchronised ensemble sections and solos in the work created by Eyal with her long-time collaborators Gai Behar and Ori Lichtik.

Emily Molnar, Artistic Director of Ballet British Columbia, said: “As ambassadors for dance, Ballet British Columbia is proud to represent Canada’s flourishing creative industry by touring the UK with an evening of works by three distinct female voices in contemporary dance. Following highly acclaimed tours throughout North America, we are honoured to be bringing this diverse evening of ideas and expression to a broad audience in the UK, one of the leading markets in international dance.  As I approach my 10th anniversary as Artistic Director of Ballet BC, I cannot imagine a more special way to celebrate the accomplishments of this uniquely talented group of artists. We look forward to building a deeper conversation with UK audiences through our performances, workshops, master classes and artist talks.”

Tickets for all productions are on sale now.

For further information and to book, call the Box Office on 0844 338 5000 or visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com