Young dancers at Stratford Station and East London Dance project
Stratford Underground station provided the perfect platform for a dance extravaganza that officially launched the 2006 Newham Arts Festival.
The theme of this year’s festival is Bring It! – people bringing their talents to a number of events that will showcase dance, drama, visual arts, music and poetry.
The festival, which runs until July 14, kicked off at the station on Tuesday June 13 with a dance performance from 30 talented children aged ten to 14 from schools across Newham. This continues Platform for Art’s musical theme for the station following the launch of a musical window frieze by artists Ella Gibbs and Amy Plant.
Called DansAthletic, the June 13th was performance inspired by the Olympic Games, and was created by Protein Dance and featured musical accompaniment from world dance band Grand Union and South Asian music ensemble Nashaa.
It began on the mezzanine at the station and from there the dancers and musicians led a procession to Stratford Circus where there was a preview event for the rest of the arts festival.
The performance was produced by East London Dance, the dance development agency for East London in partnership with Platform for Art.
Councillor Jo Corbett, Newham Council’s Executive Adviser for Culture, said: “The festival is an opportunity for many young people to display their artistic talents to the wider community.
“As well as celebrating creative arts in our schools it will help raise educational achievement and nurture young people’s energy in a positive way. As part of the preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games we have pledged to lift the arts and cultural life of the area with a sustained programme of festivals and celebrations planned for the future.”
Kiki Gale MBE, Artistic Director at East London Dance, said: “Creativity is integral to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and DansAthletic offers a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the talents of the local community and the synergy between dance and sport.”
Events during this year’s Newham Arts Festival are taking place at venues across East London including the Barbican Concert Hall in the City, the University of East London in Beckton, Stratford Circus and St Edmund’s Church in Katherine Road, Forest Gate.
Some events include:
- Sing it! – music performance by 800 young people, June 19, 7pm, Barbican Concert Hall
- Jazz it! – a summer jazz concert at St Edmund’s Church, June 27, 7.30pm
- Make it! – art exhibition, University of East London, Docklands Campus, July 5 to 14
The young dancers from Newham will also be performing in the launch of The Big Dance at Canary Wharf on Saturday July 15. The East London Dance and Platform for Art event will see 150 young people from the five Olympic boroughs performing in Canary Wharf Station and Jubilee Park.
All the details of events, venues and ticketing information for this year’s festival are available by visiting www.newham.gov.uk or by calling 0208 430 2000.