Two weekends of dance at IF Milton Keynes International Festival
2Faced Dance ask vital questions about power… Jeanefer Jean-Charles tells the hidden stories of Black Victorians… Kapow combine gardening with a look at humanity, Mimbre explores how it feels to be lifted…Gandini Juggling pays homage to Pina Bausch…Requardt & Rosenberg deliver shipping container sci-fi…
IF: Milton Keynes International Festival returns from 10 to 30 July, extended to 21 days to give audiences the time and space to enjoy coming together for live events again. The International Festival has always been known for its creative use of Milton Keynes’ distinctive urgan and green spaces and this year’s dance events will take place at the Amphitheatre and Embankment Stage in Campbell Park, the Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake and the car part at the iconic Point Building.
2Faced Dance’s latest work Power takes place on the Embankment Stage at Campbell Park on 17 & 18 July. Choreographed by Alleyne Dance (sisters Kristina and Sadé Alleyne), this fearless new production looks at the uneasy relationship with authority and control, how power can seduce, shift and shape our behaviour. Three explosive dancers ask the questions – who leads, who follows, who holds the power?
Also on the Embankment Stage as part of the Family Focus Weekend are festival favourites, acrobatic theatre company Mimbre and dance/circus/theatre company Kapow.
Mimbre’s captivating Lifted, created with international guest choreographers Yi-Chun Liu (Peeping Tom), Arthur Bernard Bazin (HURyCAN) and Gary Clarke, brings new approaches to the company’s trademark all-female acrobatics. Lifted is a series of funny, poetic and surprising moments which explore what it means when one body is carried by another.
Kapow’s Grow is a comedy gardening show and a comment on human nature combined – a playful and touching celebration of the power of nature to take over spaces and grow through the cracks. Two dancers transform variously into weeds, seeds and beautiful sunflowers leaving the audience feeling uplifted and inspired to get outside and garden. Grow is presented in association with MÓTUS Dance.
On Sunday 18 July, Gandini Juggling brings Smashed2 to the Amphitheatre in Campbell Park. Featuring 80 oranges, seven watermelons and nine performers, Smashed2 is juggling reinvented with plenty of explosive fruit and slow-motion comedy, performed with meticulous unison and split-second timing. Inspired by the work of Pina Bausch, Gandini Juggling combines elements of her gestural choreography with intricate patterns and cascades of solo and ensemble juggling.
The Point Car Park on 23 & July is the setting for Requardt & Rosenberg’s latest work, Future Cargo, an immersive sci-fi dance show set within a 40ft shipping container. A truck arrives from an other-worldly location loaded with a mystery shipment and, as the sides roll up a strange and unstoppable process is set in motion. Audiences enjoy a large-scale dance spectacle while simultaneously eavesdropping via binaural headphones on the sounds of the dramas playing out inside the container.
Jeanefer Jean-Charles’ Black Victorians, at the Peace Pagoda on 24 and 25 July was inspired by an exhibition of black people in Victorian photographic portraits kept hidden for over 100 years. The choreography, for five black dancers in Marsha Roddy’s boldly-reimagined Victorian costumes against African prints, sets out to tell some untold stories. It challenges our expectations of what a Victorian person might look like and explores a complex but often forgotten black presence in pre-Windrush Britain.
Book tickets: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org