Spectacular outdoor arts events set to bring Cumbria alive
One of Britain’s biggest and most innovative seasons of outdoor arts events will take place across Cumbria again this spring and summer, set against the county’s beautiful and varied landscape and heritage.
This year’s Lakes Alive programme of events will run from 29 April to 5 September 2010. It is Cumbria’s unique contribution to the Legacy Trust UK programme, which was set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
The mainly free shows will include modern circus, dramatic outdoor theatre, contemporary dance and exciting, fiery processions.
Lakes Alive is created and directed by Kendal Arts International with Manchester International Arts. Julie Tait, the director of Kendal Arts International, says: “Lakes Alive is an ambitious four–year Cumbria–wide programme. Last year we set ourselves the objective of making the county a centre of excellence for street arts and we are already well on the way to making that a reality.
“Over 75,000 attended the events in our first year and by 2012 we will have brought at least £4 million of new arts spending into the county. We’re very excited by this year’s programme. As well as the top UK acts, Lakes Alive in 2010 will feature work by outdoor arts companies from across the world including Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Austria, India and Australia.”
There will be a chance to get a taste of Lakes Alive ahead of the full season at the Welcoming the Light event in Carlisle on Saturday 13 March, as part of Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall. A fiery parade will be accompanied by street artists and musicians and led by the incredible Heliosphere balloon with a performer suspended beneath it performing aerial acrobatics.
The Lakes Alive season will formally open in the atmospheric ruins of Furness Abbey near Barrow from 29 April to 2 May, with evening performances of a new show created by critically-acclaimed South Asian Dance Company, Akademi. The show has been specially commissioned by Lakes Alive.
A series of events across the May half term holidays will start with a thrilling outdoor animation festival in Whitehaven showcasing the town’s historic harbour on 29 and 30 May, including a dramatic procession with fire, light and giant illuminated fish by Spanish artists Sarruga.
From 3 to 5 June We Built This City will give people a chance to take part in a public construction extravaganza in the centre of Carlisle. Using thousands of big cardboard boxes and the energy and ingenuity of kids and families, Polyglot Theatre from Australia will help build a magnificent city.
Accompanied by live music buildings will go up, be pulled down, be redesigned, extended, walked through and jumped on, and reconstructed. At the end of the day, everybody can have fun knocking down and squashing the whole city into a recyclable heap of cardboard rubble.
In the south of the county Barrow will welcome some of the best and most exciting modern circus acts from Britain and overseas from 4 to 6 June. Zircus Plus, a unique International Circus Festival, will put on an amazing show at several locations across the town.
On 23 and 24 July German group Theater Titanick, one of Europe’s leading outdoor performance companies, will stage a stunning, large-scale show involving illusion, fire, water, music and dance at Carlisle Castle.
From 28-30 July a number of Cumbrian woodlands will play host to an afternoon of shows that have been specially created for woods or with a woodland theme. Into the Woods at Grizedale, Whinlatter and Talkin Tarn will provide an afternoon of outdoor family adventure with a difference.
Also during the summer holidays (dates TBC), The Cabaret of Dr Caligari, a show created especially for Lakes Alive in 2009, will tour towns in West Cumbria providing an afternoon of cabaret with music, dancing, comedy and spectacle for a family audience. The chaotic Dr Caligari conjures oddities, eccentrics and acrobats out of thin air to entertain the audience, but once out of the box they refuse to disappear!
On Sunday 1 August in Penrith there will be a new international street festival featuring puppetry, strolling characters, comic creations and more from across the globe.
On 30 August highly respected French artists Commandos Percu will stage a dazzling extravaganza of sound, fire, light and colour at Maryport.
The season of events will culminate in Mintfest, one of the country’s largest street arts festivals, which takes place in Kendal at the gateway to the Lakes. Running from 2 to 5 September the festival will include a host of the very best street artists from across the world, including new work commissioned by the UK street arts consortium Without Walls.
Further details about all the shows will be available at www.lakesalive.org.