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Birmingham International Dance Festival announces the full festival line-up, plus new partnerships and commissions

Press release   •   Mar 28, 2018 17:16 BST

Monkey Minds - Sara Macqueen & Christopher Radford

Award-winning Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF) reveals the programme for its sixth festival in 1 – 24 June 2018.

Gravity defying dance, coolest urban freestylers, inflated latex suits, VR, world class choreography and dazzling light shows are set to wow and entertain audiences.

Expect fantastic dance in the city’s theatres and a takeover of Birmingham’s streets and squares with show-stopping performances from dawn until dusk.

New partners and sponsors are announced by BIDF producers Birmingham-based DanceXchange.

Three new festival commissions from talented regional artist awarded.

Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF) 2018, will bring the best of international dance to the city and provide a platform for local talent to shine. The programme will excite and delight a wide range of audiences and participants, inspiring local people, and attracting visitors to the city. BIDF celebrates Birmingham as a young, diverse city, a place where anything is possible, where the extraordinary happens in the most unexpected spaces.

BIDF is delighted to announce two new Festival partnerships for 2018, West Midlands Railway and Colmore Business District who join core funders Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council along with Dance Hub Birmingham which is providing substantial additional programme investment.

West Midlands Railway, BIDF’s Official Travel Partner, operates the local and regional train services within the West Midlands area. West Midlands Railway are delighted to be supporting the Festival and working with partners in Birmingham to get the region moving in this the City’s Year of Movement. As part of their commitment to serving the region, the company are particularly proud

to support BIDF’s Midlands Made programme of new commissions and presentations created by artists living and working in the Midlands.

Richard Brooks, Customer Experience Director at West Midlands Railway, said: “We have a wealth of creative talent within our ranks in the West Midlands and the Birmingham International Dance Festival will be the perfect opportunity to show that off and get the region moving. We’re extremely proud to be supporting this event and we hope people from across our network will get out there, explore their local areas and discover the excellent artists taking part in the Festival.”

Colmore Business District is sponsoring the dynamic festival zone in Victoria Square which will present an exciting mix of performances that are sure to be some of the highlights of the Festival.

Mike Best – Board Director at Colmore BID commented: “Colmore BID is delighted to be supporting Birmingham International Dance Festival. It is a vibrant event that always attracts thousands of visitors to our great city and we’re proud to be sponsoring the Festival Square programme taking over Victoria Square. The planned activity will be exciting and immersive, and a great experience for visitors. We’re also excited for the workshop activity taking place in Colmore Business District as it will complement our community and wellbeing agendas, providing something really different for those working in businesses in the area.

Clare Lewis, Executive Director of DanceXchange, said: “It is fantastic to be able to celebrate the continued support of our core Funders and supporters as well as to announce that we have new partners on board such as West Midlands Railways and Colmore BID. Key partners such as these are vital for growing and developing the festival’s reach and impact and we look forward to encouraging more people to get involved in, and be inspired by, dance during our Festival.”

Councillor Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF) continues to go from strength to strength and we are once again proud to support it as a signature festival for the city. As well as its high profile programme of international performances which reach audiences from far and wide, its touring programme injects an energy into our communities, and there are more ways than ever for people to take part, get active and have fun. It creates a sense of excitement across the city, enabling local people to get fully involved as well as attracting new visitors. BIDF helps to showcase Birmingham as a vibrant destination and will pave the way for an outstanding cultural programme as we approach the Commonwealth Games in 2022.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Birmingham International Dance Festival is a highlight in the UK’s cultural calendar. It not only brings new opportunities for artists, dance companies and producers, but also attracts huge audiences to the region, benefiting the local economy. As Birmingham gears up to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022, a festival such as this becomes an international focal point and will provide a fantastic opportunity for the city to showcase its wealth of skills and talents. It promises a fresh and exciting line up welcoming local, national and overseas visitors alike.”

Monique Deletant – Deputy CEO Culture Central / Director Dance Hub Birmingham said: “I am delighted that Dance Hub Birmingham is able to support Birmingham International Dance Festival and through it DanceXchange. The Midlands Made programme is an amazing example of the collaborative efforts that organisations in Birmingham are making which enable artists to bring exciting new work to audiences across the West Midlands and beyond. I am looking forward to seeing the incredible dance festival across Birmingham over the first three weeks in June that cements the city's reputation as the place to be for dance.”

The Midlands Made commissions are a new strand for BIDF 2018 supported by West Midlands Railways and Dance Hub Birmingham. The investment through Midlands Made creates employment, exposure and new creative challenges for artists – and is an important part of DanceXchange’s work to nurture talent and motivate artists to live and work in the region.

The Midlands Made commissions will take over Festival Square from 4-8 June. The commissioned artists creating new work include:

Andy Ingamells with Make each face a living note. Andy is a Birmingham-based interdisciplinary artist who develops unusual methods of musical composition that blur the line between composer and performer.

Rebecca Thomas with Every Body Has A Story To Tell. Rebecca is as a choreographer in Birmingham theatres and communities and is a winner of DanceXchange's Choreographer Award. She sees dance as an expression of the individual and of shared stories contained in the physical body.

Mickael Marso Riviere with T-Break/Appel #2. Northampton-based Marso, is the artistic director of Midlands based dance company Decalage, which has created work rooted in contemporary and street-dance styles for over 10 years. He is also an Artistic Director of B-Side Hip Hop Festival.

In addition, BIDF will present six pieces of existing work as part of Midlands Made, these include:
Becky Namgauds - Rodadoras

Johnny Autin – Dystopia

Laura Vanhulle - Infinite Womanhood

Maya Verlaak / Andy Ingamells - Tape Piece

Sara Macqueen & Christopher Radford - Monkey Minds

Caladonia Walton – Weight/Wait

Find out more about the programme at, download the brochure or Find us on facebook, twitter and instagram @BhamDanceFest         

Notes to editors

For further information on West Midlands Trains, London Northwestern Railway or West Midlands Railway call our newsroom on 03300 955150.

About West Midlands Trains

West Midlands Trains Ltd. will be running the West Midlands rail franchise from 10 December 2017 until 2025/6. Abellio has a 70.1% share of the company, East Japan Railway Company (JRE) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) own the remaining 29.9% in a 50:50 split.

About Abellio
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About Mitsui
Mitsui is one of the most diversified and comprehensive trading, investment and service enterprises in the world with 139 offices in 66 countries as of March, 2017. Utilising our global operating locations, network and information resources, we are multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects in the following fields: Iron & Steel Products, Mineral & Metal Resources, Infrastructure Projects, Integrated Transportation Systems, Chemicals, Energy, Food Resources, Food Products & Services, Consumer Services, IT & Communication, and Corporate Development Business. Mitsui is actively taking on challenges for global business innovation around the world. For more information, visit

About JR East
East Japan Railway Company (JR East) was established in 1987, when Japanese National Railways was divided as part of a package of railway reforms. JR East’s railway business covers a 7,500 km (approx. 4,660 miles) network in the eastern part of the Japanese main island, including Tokyo Metropolitan area, and provides transportation services, comprising urban, suburban and high speed operations, for 17 million passengers on a daily basis. JR East also undertakes non‐transport commercial activities, which account for more than 30% of the total revenue of JR East Group. JR East contributes to passengers and communities it serves by delivering high degrees of punctuality, reliability and comfort and also continues to pursue higher levels of safety and service quality through technical innovation. For more information, visit