A celebration of the UK’s flourishing dance scene in collaboration with One Dance UK.
Dancers rigged to 3D motion tracking bodysuits will show how science is pushing the boundaries of choreography, as part of an unprecedented celebration of the UK’s dance scene, which will also include exclusive rehearsals and insights from some of the country’s leading practitioners.
These are just some of the highlights of #DancePassion, a dance festival being organised by BBC Arts in collaboration with One Dance UK, along with leading names and exciting new talent. Aimed at those who love dance as well as those who don’t yet know they love dance, #DancePassion will run across television, radio and online on the BBC from Sunday 31 March to Saturday 6 April, with a live streaming day on Friday 5 April.
Highlights also include:
A #DancePassion live streaming day featuring 11 hours of performance, rehearsals and behind the scenes insights from across the UK.
Organisations to use the BBC’s dance archive in innovative ways to tell compelling dance stories.
A week-long focus on dance across television, radio and online including performances of Giselle and Atomos on BBC Four, Sound Of Dance on BBC Radio 3 and dance specials on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music.
Jonty Claypole Director, BBC Arts, says: “Dance truly is a powerful and transformative art form. I’m thrilled that we’re working with One Dance UK and the whole sector to demonstrate exactly why this country is a world leader in dance.
"#DancePassion is for audiences who love dance as well as for those who don’t yet know they love dance. Whether it’s ballet, bhangra or ballroom - at one of our ‘hubs’ or at home - this week aims to get the whole nation moving in a celebration of dance.”
Andrew Hurst, Chief Executive Officer of One Dance UK, says: “We are delighted to partner with the BBC to promote the very first #DancePassion and launch this exciting national celebration of dance, showcasing the cutting-edge creativity, artistry, and talent leading the way in dance in the UK today.”
#DancePassion Live Streaming
As part of the live streaming day on Friday 5 April the science of dance will take centre stage, as Birmingham Royal Ballet conduct live experiments to demonstrate how 3D motion tracking is being used to push boundaries in choreography, as well as to protect dancers from injury. New research into how dancing can improve bone density will also be revealed.
There will be exclusive rehearsals and insights from some of the country’s leading practitioners including Akram Khan Company, Candoco Dance Company, Company Wayne McGregor, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, National Dance Company Wales, Möbius Dance, Northern Ballet and Kenneth Tindall, Rambert, Rosie Kay Dance Company and Viviana Durante Company.
Audiences will be given a front row seat to English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet, as they gear up for performances that evening at Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal Glasgow respectively, while DanceXchange, English Folk Dance and Song Society, Maiden Voyage Dance, Motionhouse, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and ZooNation Youth Company Birmingham will all show audiences why the UK’s dance sector is the best in the world.
Involving the four UK nations, dancers, independent artists and choreographers will take part in live broadcasts from dance ‘hubs’ located in Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds, London and Swansea, presented by Dr Ranj Singh, Katie Thistleton, Brenda Emmanus, Connie Fisher, Rebecca Jones and Marie-Louise Muir. Additional live streams will come directly from companies themselves: Scottish Ballet will be in Glasgow to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and Rambert will bring audiences exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the full range of their work, featuring leading French choreographer Marion Motin.
Other exciting content will include choreographer Nathan Geering demonstrating how b-boying and b-girling (breakdancing) for the visually impaired is being used as a means of injury prevention and to improve spatial awareness. Rising talent will be showcased through streamed performances from dancers from the National Youth Dance Company and Yuva Gati, the Centre for Advanced Training National South Asian dance programme alongside a number of community dance groups from across the country including ACE Dance & Music in Birmingham as well as Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL) and RJC Dance in Leeds.
Ahead of the centenary of Merce Cunningham’s birth, the Barbican will Iivestream Not A Moment Too Soon, as Trevor Carlson, close friend and Executive Director to Cunningham, reflects on the 12 years he spent as a companion to the choreographer, offering a rare insight into the final days of a master.
And to mark its 40th anniversary, Akademi will make available its performance of The Troth, a gripping wartime story of love and loss, told through powerful dance theatre. The Troth was commissioned by The Space.
Dance on Television and Radio
#DancePassion will be celebrated in dedicated programming across the BBC between 31 March and 6 April. TV programming will feature recent critically acclaimed performances of English National Ballet and Akram Khan’s Giselle and Company Wayne McGregor’s Atomos, both The Space commissions for BBC Arts which will be broadcast on BBC Four.
BBC Four will also present an Arena special with a film featuring the English Morris Dancing tradition. Stopgap Dance Company’s film Artificial Things directed by Sophie Fiennes will be available on BBC iPlayer. The film explores human interdependence, strength, and vulnerability, featuring an ensemble of disabled and non-disabled dancers and is also a The Space commission for BBC Arts.
BBC Radio 3’s Sound Of Dance, presented by Katie Derham, will return to coincide with #DancePassion and In Tune will have a themed programme focusing on the relationship between music and dance presented by Sean Rafferty. Mary Anne Hobbs’ show on BBC Radio 6 Music will be a #DancePassion-themed special. BBC Radio 4’s Front Row interviews Carlos Acosta about his forthcoming biographical film Yuli and his new role as Director at Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Following on from Radio 2’s Longest Ever Danceathon featuring Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly in aid of Comic Relief, in which the whole network is going to be given over to dance for more than 24 hours on 11 and 12 March, there will be another chance to hear BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night a dance themed edition presented by Strictly Come Dancing’s Head Judge and Queen of Latin Shirley Ballas as she shimmies, shuffles, spins and chassés us through a selection of her favourite music with Strictly stars Joe McFadden and Joanne Clifton.
BBC Sounds will also feature special #DancePassion inspired music mixes to get the whole nation moving.
The BBC Rewind and Archive editorial teams are working with dance organisations on a digital storytelling tool from BBC Research & Development, Canvas. Combining organisations’ expertise with the BBC’s archive, the visually impressive stories will include the history of Black Dance in Britain from One Dance UK; the dancer and choreographer Mona Inglesby from New Works Ballet Theatre, the story of the 51st Reel from Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and the history of Scottish Ballet.
Dance On The BBC
BBC Arts creates more arts programmes on radio and television than any other broadcaster, providing a stage and showcasing the very best of arts form across the country to the nation.
From Ballet to Bollywood, BBC Arts is proud to showcase the UK as a world leader in dance. Through entertainment, performance capture, new talent, dedicated seasons and documentaries, BBC audiences are given a front-row seat and unique insight into the wider benefits of this important art form.
Saturday night television gets the nation dancing with blockbuster entertainment programmes Strictly Come Dancing and Greatest Dancer on BBC One.
Audiences are given the best seat in the house for the latest acclaimed productions on BBC Two and BBC Four. Recent examples include performances from Sadler’s Wells, The Royal Ballet, Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young’s acclaimed Betroffenheit, and English National Ballet / Akram Khan’s Giselle.
BBC Arts invests in new talent through BBC Young Dancer, supporting both emerging dancers and choreographers.
The benefits of dance in education, health and in bringing communities together is illustrated through regular documentaries including BBC Two’s Darcey Bussell: Dancing To Happiness and BBC Radio 3’s popular series, Sound of Dance.
Seasons such as the BBC Four Dance Season, Get Creative or the upcoming #DancePassion sees BBC Arts regularly join forces with independent artists and dance companies to get everyone dancing.