We don’t normally carry Crowd Sourcing pleas on our blog because we don’t believe that’s what you come here for, but…
This afternoon the excellent Johnny O’Hanlon and I were plotting the latest Space adventures we hope to Year 5 on at Billesley Primary school, he mentioned his work with Hocus Pocus Theatre Group who meet at mac in Cannon Hill Park regularly. They are a group of actors with learning disabilities who devise their own shows. They’re looking for £875 to make a new show. They’ve had £790 pledged and if they don’t get the remaining £45 pledged by Monday they lose everything pledged so far.
For them, and for Johnny’s commitment to them, I have broken our rule.
This photograph cheers me up no end as I push through the pain barrier to submit the annual Tax Return. The image has been shared with the Tweetosphere via the ever excellent @brumpic. It shows Dirty Harry looking bamboozled with what might be the Albany Hotel’s bar menu, c.1967. One can only imagine the array of succulent Brummie dishes on offer – Faggots & Peas, Suet-Crusted Hotpot, Spam Fritter and Chips, etc.- no doubt garnished with the obligatory sprig of wilted parsley and topped off with lashings of HP. For pud, Spotted Dick with Condensed Milk, surely? (I imagine curry would’ve been too radical to include at this point). Let’s hope Mr.& Mrs.Clint enjoyed their visit and that he didn’t get told off for rocking on his chair.
— Graeme Rose (@Graerose) January 29, 2014
International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) one of Europe’s biggest dance festivals, co-produced by DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome, returns for its fourth year. The festival “officially launched” yesterday afternoon.
In less than three months’ time, this award-winning biennial celebration of dance, returns to the city from Thursday 24th April 2014 – Sunday 25th May for over four weeks of world premieres, unique collaborations, community events, outdoor spectacles and world-class performances.
With more theatre shows than in previous years, featuring some of the biggest names in dance, and some of the most hotly tipped rising choreographic stars IDFB 2014 will showcase the best international dance in venues and outdoor spaces across the buzzing festival city of Birmingham.
I must admit I have never been to an IDFB event – but from looking through the programme and reading a bit more about what’s going on, I can see that there is a lot happening that will appeal to a lot of tastes and curiosities. I like the look of this:
Students from BCU’s School of Architecture have been working with DanceXchange to imagine how disused or unloved corners of Birmingham could be transformed into performance spaces.
See the results in an exhibition which aims to kick-start regeneration and community development projects across the city. On Thursday and Friday look out for pop-up performances by Birmingham Ormiston Academy dance students, inspired by the architectural designs. The exhibition forms part of Birmingham Made Me 2014.
Have a look through the IDFB website for more information and for other events.
Sidenote: The new IDFB website is rather nice. when it’s not in festival mode, it functions as an archive of past events. Very cleverly designed by Birmingham based Supercool.
We hope you all had a great Christmas and that 2014 is already turning out to be a happy New Year for you!
Our Spring season is just about to kick back into action as The Tell-Tale Heart begins its second phase of touring following on from its very busy Autumn. Six performances are currently on sale between February and May: another exciting mixture of old and new venues, some on our doorstep and some much further afield.
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It’s the realisation of a dream combination; Stan’s Cafe v. Modified Toy Orchestra v. Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. ‘Living Toys’ is a programme of new music performed for a family audience, with Stan’s Cafe devising a theatrical frame through which young eyes and ears might access and experience contemporary music for the first time. ‘Living Toys’ is also the title of the suite composed by Thomas Adès (conductor: Christian Karlsen) which provides the climax to a sequence of compositions by Richard Baker/Brian Duffy/MTO, Colin Matthews and Arne Gieshoff, whose ‘Verdreht’ received it’s World Premiere today at the CBSO Centre.
In other news from this week, I was delighted to perform alongside Urban Thompson in the World Premiere of Bobbie Gardner’s ‘Chef Concerto’ in the Adrian Boult Hall on thursday. In this five-minute work, the Symphony Orchestra of Birmingham Conservatoire play a competitive accompaniment to the chef as he prepares and presents a dish – in this instance a phenomenal Thai Prawn salad.
Performances of ‘Living Toys’ continue at the CBSO Centre on tuesday 28th January for invited schools’ audiences.
We are pleased to announce the 12 artists taking part in the first stage of the programme:
We will select four artists from the 12 recipients of the micro-bursaries to receive a larger bursary of £1500 in 2014/15. In addition to the bursary, these artists will receive mentorship (we will attempt to secure a suitable artist mentor for each FWD artist in dialogue with them) and producing and curatorial support to develop a site-specific project for Fierce Festival in October 2014.
Sustaining Your Practice Talks
These are FREE and open to all, not just the Fierce FWD beneficiaries.
Fierce FWD Talk Series:
Weds 21 May, 6.30 – 8.30pm: How I’ve kept going?
Performance duo James Stenhouse and Gemma Pantin of Action Hero and Birmingham based artist Mark Storor, share their personal experience in staying motivated, inspired and staying afloat financially.
Location: VIVID projects
Weds 18 June, 6.30 – 8.30pm: How research sustains my practice
These artists share the vital role of research in their practice; in both formal and informal contexts, shedding light on how the activity that happens behind the scenes informs their work and methodologies.
Location: STRYX Studios
Weds 23rd July, 6.30 – 8.30pm: Thinking about the discourse around your work
Writer Diana Damian and online magazine editor James Smith, discuss the relationship of public writing to practice. They will share some examples of writing projects they have been involved in as well as exploring how to communicate your work online.
Location: A3 Projects
About the identity: designed by Cody Lee Barbour. Cody was on the previous incarnation of Fierce’s emerging artist development scheme Platinum.
Fierce FWD is generously supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Arts Council England.