A NEW season of dance has been programmed in Whitley Bay as part of a plan to grow the audience for the dynamic art form.
Three companies will visit the Playhouse in the coming months, following a host of well-received performances at festivals and special events in 2012.
Kevin Wallace, arts development officer in North Tyneside, said dance featured last year at the opening of Tynemouth Station and at the Mouth of the Tyne Festival.
“This is our first attempt to develop the audience at the Playhouse.”
First on stage, on February 9,is a dance show called The Lock In devised by award-winning folk band The Demon Barbers and artistic director Damien Barber.
It sees a group of street dancers arriving at an apparently deserted pub, The Fighting Cocks, which nevertheless is rumoured to be the place to be after dark.
When the regulars arrive, a clash of cultures turns into a dance floor stand-off as the cool hip hop, house and ska aficionados vie for honours with sword dancers and girls in clogs.
“The Lock In promises to do for English folk dance what Riverdance did for Irish dance and Diversity did for street dance,” say the promoters.
A little of the company’s work was seen at the Tynemouth Station opening last June when excerpts from an earlier show were performed.
Damien Barber says: “I’ve always seen folk music and dance as an incredibly modern and vibrant living tradition and wanted to find a way to bring that vision to the widest possible audience.
“The Lock In is the result of several years of artistic collaboration and development and I’m extremely excited that it’s finally touring.”
Bad Taste Cru, based in the North East, will host a celebration of hip hop culture at the Playhouse on March 3, performing themselves and welcoming various special guests.
The action will spill off the stage into the foyer as the lads and others turn up the temperature. The mood will change again on March 25 when the highly-regarded Jasmin Vardimon, an award-winning choreographer and associate artist of Sadler’s Wells, brings her company to Whitley Bay.
It will be a first North East appearance for the Jasmin Vardimon Company which will perform a challenging piece called Freedom which is not suitable for those under 14.
The promoters promise a work of breathtaking physicality and beautifully detailed and brutally visceral characterisation.
For more information about the season visit www.delivr.com/1ljrw or tel. 0844 248 1588