The Royal Opera House opens its new season with Deloitte Ignite 2014, bringing a bunch of free and family friendly ways to explore the famous building through art and dance.
Taking myth as its theme, this year's Ignite welcomes street art into the opera house, opens up rehearsal spaces, puts yoga where the bar usually is, sends kids rampaging round the place, and offers a whole bunch of different ways to sample art and ballet. The following highlights are all taking place on the opening weekend 5-7 September — so book your free tickets now.
The House Transformed
The opening weekend of Ignite sees the street artist Phlegm let loose in the long ground floor corridor; there's sound installations on the airy escalator up to the amphitheatre; and the plush Grand Staircase will feature two taboo-breaking photographic works by Mat Collishaw. Down below in the Linbury Studio Foyer, you can find photos of Hackney residents transformed by east Londoner, Tom Hunter. Meanwhile, Bill Viola displays fiery video art in the elegant Crush Room. Also, the beautiful Paul Hamlyn Hall will be hung with huge reproductions of iconic Renaissance paintings in order to host mass participatory yoga.
Dance: Live Performances, Film & Talks
See what happens in the studio as Kristen McNally rehearses her dancers, "Choreographing the Myth" in the Clore Studio Upstairs and watch Royal Ballet Artist Calvin Richardson perform his new take on the famous Dying Swan solo in the Paul Hamlyn Hall. Listen to panel discussion on Being a Swan, watch a film about Anna Pavlova and see new dance on film in the Linbury Studio.
The sold out Sampling the Myth mixed bill shows, which feature extracts from famous mythic-themed ballets and three dance films, will be shown on the big screen in Covent Garden Piazza and in the Paul Hamlyn Hall, from 7pm each evening.
Children are sure to enjoy Phlegm's work as they enter the Opera House on Ignite's opening weekend, but in addition there will be a circus of stories and mask-making up in the Amphitheatre Bar. This is followed by a performance of "Snakes and Thunderbolts: The Gods and Goddesses of Mount Olympus" plus more storytelling in the Clore Studio.
Later in the month there's also a Family Sunday on 28 September, from noon till 4pm, with 100 free tickets available on the door on a first-come, first served basis.
Deloitte Ignite takes place at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 5-28 September. Here's more information on free evening and daytime events over 5, 6 & 7 September. Book your tickets to guarantee entry to the House. Browse the full programme brochure.