Frankly put, for dance events, this July is nuts. There’s so much dance going on that you’d have to make multiple selves to see it all, so here’s a guide to seeing a diverse range of what BIG Dance festival has on offer, and bonus- lots of it is free!
Leaving Limbo Landing is a performance that combines dance and circus skills that takes place on land, in air and in water. Its all-female cast tell stories of journeys and displacement in a visually spectacular fashion in London Fields on Saturday 7 July at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm (free).
Get close to the dazzling footwork and snaking hips of Romani dance at the Strictly Gypsy mini-festival, which showcases international stars from Hungary, Serbia, Russia and Turkey in the intimate setting of the ballroom at the Dogstar in Brixton on Sunday 8 July (£15).
Are you being Served? is a fun, site-specific introduction to the hectic characters behind the professional façade of a local restaurant in Elephant and Castle on Monday 9 July at 10.30am, 11.30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm, Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, free.
Also in Elephant, The Public House is a venue for performance, discussion, film, music and art. Losing its empty shop status, and gaining that of a cosy living room, this is the home of avant garde goings-on from 9–14 July, 10.30am-6.30pm, free, 8-11pm, £10.
The great thing about BIG Dance is its scope and egalitarian attitude towards both professional and community dance. It’s impossible to list all of the community dance events that are popping up but one way to get a taste is by following the BIG Dance Bus on it’s tour of London, showcasing local talent across the capital from 7–15 July (free).
Dancing Voices recalls the two previous occasions that London hosted the Olympic Games, evoking iconic historical moments through movement and feel-good song with a live choir. Older people from all over London come together in Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of Capital Age Festival, Wednesday 11 July (£4).
For adventure seekers, Dancing Tales presents a theatrical duet-cum-sensorial walking experience in hidden spaces starting from an undisclosed daily start point in Greenwich (found via www.dancingtalesbigdance.com) Wednesday 11 July, 6pm (free).
Matthew Bourne’s Play Without Words offers up seduction, deception and a power-struggle through physical theatre to a Jazz-infused score- phew! Catch the revival of this 2002 critically acclaimed show while you can, from 12 July - 5 August at Sadler’s Wells (tickets £12-£50).
You don’t have to be one of BIG Dance’s scheduled performers to have a chance to dance, as the festival is also packed with events to take part in, such as the London Barndance. Who can resist hollered instructions like twirl and swing?! On Saturday 14 July at Cecil Sharp House, 8pm (tickets £10).
What better way to wrap up a festival than with a carnival? Brazil Day packs Capoeria, Samba and drumming, as well as South American craft stalls and food into Wandsworth Park from 2pm-11pm. 15 July (free).
BIG Dance runs from 7th- 14th July. For information on all BIG Dance performances, workshops and related events, see the website: www.bigdance2012.com.