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International Dance Festival Birmingham 2010
International Dance Festival Birmingham runs from 19 April to 15 May 2010

The world's top dancers are set to arrive in Birmingham for a dance extravaganza.

The International Dance Festival Birmingham runs from 19 April to 15 May 2010, across five city centre venues.

Free events will also be held in open spaces and shopping centres.

It's only the second time Birmingham has hosted the dance festival, and the choice of performances proves the city isn't afraid of controversy.

Home-grown talent

The Birmingham-based choreographer Rosie Kay tops the bill of local artists, with 5 Soldiers - The Body is the Frontline - a study of the effects of modern warfare on the human body.

Birmingham born Colin Dunne, nine times world Irish step dance champion and principal dancer in Riverdance (1995-1998) brings his first full length production to the city.

But perhaps one of the biggest crowd pullers will be the professionals from BBC's Strictly Come Dancing who are booked for seven performances at the Hippodrome, starting on Tuesday 4th May.

International line-up

Although Midlands and British talent will be showcased, there can be no question that this is going to be a truly international festival, with 20 countries from six continents represented.

International stars from 20 countries will be represented

International highlights of the festival are sure to be:

  • Carlos Acosta staring in Magic of the Dance with Ballet Nacional De Cuba
  • Sutra - 17 monks from the original Shaolin Temple in China share their Buddhist spirituality in an awe-inspiring display of dance and athleticism
  • And Australia's Circa challenges the premise that dance and circuses inhabit different worlds.

David Massingham, Artistic Director of DanceXchange and Co-Artistic Director of the Festival said: "We're hugely busy with the final preparations for the festival, making sure all the touring companies have their flights and hotels booked and all the technical requirements are met.

"We've also appointed a great international group of dancers for our commissioned projects, and the artistic development of these pieces is now well underway."

Dancing in the streets

If you thought you might get away with just watching the dancers from the comfort of a theatre seat - forget it.

Dancers will be appearing in unusual places all over the region, as well as in the city itself, and you might just be coaxed into getting up onto your feet and joining in at some point.

The four week event comes at a time when the world's media will undoubtedly be looking to Britain for stories of political backstabbing and scandal in the run up to an election.

But, if you tire of reading about them, the International Dance Festival Birmingham promises to be the perfect antidote to election fever.

International Dance Festival Birmingham runs from 19 April to 15 May 2010.

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