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Greenwich+Docklands International Festival 2015

Exhibition preview

THIS year, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF), London’s largest and most ambitious festival of outdoor arts, taps into the ever increasing public appetite for immersive theatre experiences.

Between June 26 and July 5, the Festival will see a 360 degree eruption of colour, performance and music with a 10 day programme of large scale spectaculars, processional theatre, dance in public spaces as well as intimate one on one shows.

GDIF celebrates the vibrancy, freedom and imagination of outdoor performance from around the world with the very latest outdoor productions from across the UK and overseas. Nine productions receive their UK premiere, with sixteen London premieres, four commissions, and the world premiere of an original GDIF large scale production.

Events take place across the streets, parks and public open spaces of Royal Greenwich and East London, vividly reinventing the everyday and sweeping audiences up in the delight of outdoor arts.

This year, the Festival’s opening night spectacle, Kori Kori (pictured) is processional, bringing a large scale chorus of vibrantly costumed actors to Greenwich Town Centre as the prelude to the two day Greenwich Fair, a packed weekend programme of circus and street arts.

At the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, The Four Fridas will be an epic evocation of the life and work of one of the world’s greatest artists, Frida Kahlo, whilst the atmospheric Oxleas Woods on Shooters Hill, will provide the setting for an adventurous experience for 5-11 year olds with The Secret Princess of Severndroog Castle.

North of the Thames in Tower Hamlets, 451 will be an incendiary and immersive exploration of the power of books, whilst at Canary Wharf, Dancing City will offer a packed week of captivating alfresco dance experiences. At the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park GDIF goes global with Tangle, a giant participatory artwork from Australia; The Colour of Time, a rainbow eruption of gulal powder and dance from France and India; and a journey through the ancient arts and traditions of the Mughal era with Navrattan.

As well as The Four Fridas (July 1 to July 4), the full programme for this year’s Festival includes:

The UK premiere of Kori Kori from La Compagnie Oposito – Friday, June 26 at 8.03pm. Procession starts in Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, SE10. Free.

Packed with colour, music and passion, a chorus of 18 actors and three musicians with an energising score of rock, waltz, tango and classical music, lead audiences on an exuberant theatrical journey through Greenwich. From one of France’s foremost outdoor theatre companies and inspired by the diversity of humanity, Kori Kori is street theatre at its very best!

451 from Periplum and Corn Exchange Newbury – in Bethnal Green Gardens, E2 on Saturday, June 27 at 10pm. Free.

Commissioned by GDIF, this spectacular, immersive performance depicts a society where reading is forbidden and firemen are employed to burn books (451 degrees Farenheit is the temperature at which paper burns). This London premiere is based on the classic novel by Ray Bradbury and will feature incredible staging with moving structures, an emotionally compelling score and of course pyrotechnics.

Greenwich Fair – at the Old Royal Naval College, Cutty Sark Gardens & Greenwich Park, Greenwich, SE10 on Saturday, June 27 from 1pm –9pm, and Sunday, June 28 from 12 noon – 7pm. Free.

All the fun of the fair at this energetic and entertaining weekend of European style outdoor street theatre and dance, featuring 20 exceptional companies from the UK, Belgium, France, Denmark and Spain. Offering the largest and most intensive programme of street arts in the capital, Greenwich Fair is an overload of unconventional theatrical experiences with a strong circus showing for this year.

The two days include a musical performance on a stage filled with water; juggling to eight classic rock and roll tracks, the behind the scenes story of a fairground Carousel, where dancers flip, roll, dive, and spin to an eclectic Balkan and Gypsy-influenced score; explosive acrobatic experiences; encounters with surprising bees and an immersive-technology performance by a symphony orchestra in a Brussels concert hall.

Dancing City – at Canary Wharf, E14 from Monday, June 29 to Saturday, July 4. (Monday – Friday, 1pm and 6pm; Saturday, 1pm – 5pm. Free.

Exhilarating, thought-provoking and fun, this annual outdoor dance extravaganza is back with performances and bite-sized al fresco treats from UK and international dance companies.

Journey across the parks, piazzas, open spaces and waterfronts of Canary Wharf and encounter everything from the mesmerising footwork of New Zealand Maori Haka from Corey Baker Dance, to fluid, fearless Parkour from Parkour Dance Company, nostalgic 1950’s tap from Soul Rebel Tap, and powerful, contemporary dance from leading companies including Compañía Sharon Fridman, Rosie Kay Dance Company and Company Chameleon.

The Secret Princess of Severndroog by Look Left Look Right (for 5 – 11 year olds) – at Severndroog Castle, Oxleas Woods, SE18 from Thursday, July 2 to Sunday, July 5 (Thursday and Friday, 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, 2pm and 5pm). Free. Limited capacity. Book at festival.org. A limited number of walk-up tickets are also available.

This GDIF commission is an interactive fairy tale for the 21st century by one of the UK’s most acclaimed site specific theatre companies. Help free a modern princess from the spell which has locked her up in the castle in this magical woodland adventure.

Global Streets – at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2ST from Friday, July 3 to Sunday, July 5 – visit festival.org for schedule. Free.

GDIF 2015 goes global with three immersive events at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Tangle is a giant, evolving participatory elastic artwork from Australian children’s theatre company Polyglot whilst Navrattan from Nutkhut, explores an Emperor’s Palace using the ancient arts and traditions of the Mughal era combined with dance, storytelling and shadow puppetry.

Providing this year’s daytime finale, The Colour of Time from the French company Artonik is a contemporary dance promenade with a Holi inspired climax of gulal powder and South Asian dance inspired by the Indian festival of Holi.

Image: Kori Kori by La Compagnie Oposito as part of GDIF 2015. Copyright: Xavier Cantat.