Leicester’s dynamic two-week annual dance festival, LET’S DANCE INTERNATIONAL FRONTIERS which presents contemporary dance and ballet by local and international performers returns this April.
LDIF 2018 launches on Sunday April 29th, International Dance Day, with a performance by highly acclaimed Zimbabwean dancer/performance artist Nora Chipaumire. New York-based Nora will perform her ‘100% POP’, inspired by the legendary Grace Jones at the 2Funky Music Café, one of Leicester’s most popular live music venues.
LDIF embraces the cosmopolitan nature of Leicester by bringing diversity to the forefront in dance while celebrating the work of dancers at all stages of their careers.
Star names include the Senegalese/New York-based Germaine Acogny whose performances have been tagged ‘powerful, formidable’; the San Francisco-based Antoine Hunter , the pioneering deaf dancer/choroegrapher whose company, Urban Jazz Dance Company, consists of a mix of professional deaf and hearing dancers; the unstoppable London-based Namron currently celebrating 50 years in professional dance; the Leicester-trained Ella Mesma, fast rising dancer/choreographer whose piece ‘Papillon’ is being developed in association with the Curve Theatre; and Leicester-trained Harriet Watson.
Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2018 is produced by Serendipity, the diversity-led organisation based at Leicester’s De Montfort University whose Artistic Director is Pawlet Brookes: “LDIF is a unique opportunity to see creative and innovative work from international trailblazers before anyone else! It introduces new audiences to dance and returning audiences to something they wouldn’t get anywhere else. We’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone to LDIF 2018!”
“In celebrating this year’s theme Ancestral Voices: Dance Dialogues,” continues Pawlet, “LDIF18 will recognise and celebrate pioneers from the African and African/Caribbean diaspora who have shaped contemporary dance over the years.
“We are honoured to present the UK debut of Somewhere at the Beginning by Germaine Acogny, UK premieres from Nora Chipaumire and Urban Jazz Dance Company and the work of emerging artists though our platforms Signatures and Autograph.
“Speakers at our conference will feature LDIF patron Joan Myers Brown, Artistic Director of Philadanco Ballet Company in Philadelphia, USA, and L’Antoinette Stines (Jamaica), Bob Ramdhanie (Trinidad-UK), Barbara Ramos (Cuba), and Jeanguy Saintus (Haiti).
LDIF promotes new work by emerging practitioners in the programme Signatures which will be staged at the Curve on May 9th in partnership with Dance4, the international centre for the development of dance in Nottingham. Autograph is another platform for emerging artists and on May 10th will present Ella Mesma’s ‘Papillon’ and Mac Daniel V. Palima’s (left) ‘Sekseneutraal’. The Curve Theatre will also host performances by Urban Jazz Company led by Antoine Hunter who will be joined by Zahna Simon; together they are the driving force behind Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in San Francisco.
The legendary Namron – founder of Namron Dance – began his dance career with Willesden Jazz Ballet, one of London’s first community dance groups. He won a scholarship to the Rambert Ballet School in 1965 and as a founder member of London Contemporary Dance Theatre became the first black dancer to be employed by a British dance company.
Namron will be giving a masterclass at De Montfort University on May 4th and will perform as part of Biography, a showcase for mature performers on May 5th.
To find out more about LDIF 2018 and the full festival schedule visit www.serendipity-uk.com/programme