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Dandyism is centuries old, and for the original African dandies, it represented male empowerment and post-colonial freedom. African Dandies appropriated the flamboyance of the 18th Century English & French gentlemen in defiance against slavery, referred to by some as a resistance movement. By the 1960s it had become a phenomenon, a way to preserve a legacy of African culture and challenge conventional male stereotypes. More recently Dandyism has encompassed the fight for gender equality by the Congo’s Female Dandies movement. Dandyism is a celebration of style and cool as well as a concern for humanism, gender and identity in our increasingly divided society. In this new performance work choreographer Patrick Ziza explores the Dandy’s fashion and style as an assertion of freedom, the evolution of this cultural phenomenon into a modern-day norm, and how it relates to exploring, respecting and valuing individuality in the 21st Century. Dandyism is flamboyance: dress sharp and present your best self. Choreographer Patrick Ziza moved to Gateshead from Rwanda as a teenager. As a choreographer he has developed his own style of movement, embodying the raw, unrefined energy and expressive dynamism of dances originating in Central East Africa. Location Pink Zone
Almost as old as the oldest civilisation is the myth of the flood. The story of a few who survive the waters through divine intervention, and the help of a boat… but the flood we face is not a myth, and we have no one to save us but ourselves… Commissioned by the Time & Tide Bell organisation; The UPG Team bring their distinctive performance-parkour language together with a vessel made of scaffold and a story told by a child to ask, in the face of rising sea levels, how we avoid having to choose who gets on the boat? On the Strandline is performed by the Emergent Ensemble – a group of five early career performers brought together in the time of Covid to survive the industry lockdown. Pink Zone – Behind Kirkleatham Museum
Drowning under a crushing mass of plastic, the Keeper of the Waterways awakens and rises up. It’s time for change. Highly Sprung’s CastAway is a stunning outdoor performance that explores the impact of today’s throwaway society on our waterways. Featuring a unique gyroscopic flying machine, it presents a brand new approach to aerial theatre. The all-female cast immerses audiences in an underwater world where performers dive, twist and float over 26 feet in the air to delight, inspire and captivate audiences of all ages. CastAway responds to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a floating island of everlasting plastic that has now grown to 6½ times the size of the UK. It presents an alternative, sustainable and more compassionate way of being and challenges us to consider our own actions in the face of climate change. With the weight of plastic now greater than the weight of humanity, what better time than now to take action? By Highly Sprung. Commissioned by the Coventry City of Culture Trust, the Canal and River Trust, The Arches Worcester Festivals at Severn Arts and Basingstoke Festival.
THE TOWN IS THE MENU is back, inspired by Marske-by-the-sea, full of food, fun and conversation. What would your town look like on a plate?
Pull up a chair and join our 36 metre long communal table for an unforgettable three-course lunch under a big sky, with spirit lifting live musical performances too. This year’s menu is inspired by the people and the stories of Marske, just along the road from our festival site. Created by The Ugly Duckling, a cooking collective who produce nourishing food that is respectful of the planet – expect a witty and seasonal feast prepared with local wonky veg and perfectly good ‘waste’ food. £7.00 – suitable for vegetarians, regrettably we are unable to accommodate special dietary requirements’
This is an outdoor event, so dress appropriately.
Whether you’re lost in the desert or working in an office we all need water. From Indra to Zeus to Thor & Niord, there are thousands of tales of those who bring water. Stories of mermaids, sea-monsters, wild rivers, spooky lakes – come join one of the UK’s best storytellers for magical stories to refresh the heart and minds of all the family! ‘Wit, wisdom & a voice like chocolate!’ Honor, Manchester ‘A storyteller so spell-binding it left me breathless!’ Divea, Delhi Giles Abbott started storytelling in 2000 after sudden and serious, but not total, sight loss in 1998 made reading impossible. He is the UK’s only professional blind storyteller and has performed for children, families and adults in festivals, theatres, arts centres, schools and more throughout the UK, in Europe, Africa and India. His storytelling is known for his commanding stage presence, flair for language and “a voice like melted chocolate”. Location pink zone
Co-commissioned with Dance City, Newcastle. The last two islanders in the world are adrift in a wide and lonely sea of plastic. ‘How did thingscome to this?’ they wonder, as they carry out their age-old daily routines, clinging determinedly to the last remnants of the life they once lived on land. One day, they are visited by a mysterious creature from the depths of the sea. Are they ready for the chaos that ensues? A show about two cultures coexisting in the same environment and the struggle to find a place of mutual understanding from which to move forward. Location Pink Zone
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