Let’s Dance International Frontiers, the annual dance festival in Leicester will be marking its tenth anniversary with a 2020 festival, albeit in an alternative, digital form. The dates are the same: April 29 – May 16.
Pawlet Brookes, artistic director and CEO of Serendipity, curator of the event says, “LDIF is all about connections. For the last nine years, this festival has fostered creative collaborations and brought together the international dance ecology. We are excited to embrace the technologies that allow us to stay connected globally, and to continue sharing the incredible work of these artists in the face of an unprecedented situation that is impacting people around the world. We hope that Alternative LDIF20 will enable those missing out on cultural experiences to enjoy a diverse programme celebrating international dance, that can be accessed globally – safely and for free.”
Alternative LDIF20 will feature dance performances, speakers, an online exhibition, film screenings, the launch of Serendipity’s podcast, and an enticing look behind the scenes with LDIF20 artists. The finale will be a collaborative programme allowing dancers from around the world to come together in a showcase.
In it’s short ten-year history, LDIF has become one of the most interesting, and often thought-provoking, dance festivals around. It’s also been the one place you can see some of America’s leading companies perform. In celebration of all that, this year’s digital event will also see the launch of a brand new book, LDIF: 10 Years in the Making, written by Pawlet Brookes with a foreword by Gladys M. Francis, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Georgia State University in the US and poetry by Norwegian dance practitioner Thomas Prestø.
Running through much of the festival, Dance Dialogues is a daily morning programme presenting the thinking and practices of artists, choreographers and academics from the African and African Caribbean diaspora who have made a significant impact in shaping the international dance ecology.
Artists originally scheduled to appear in person at LDIF20 will be sharing more about their work in advance of their rescheduled performances. Alice Sheppard, award-winning disabled dancer and choreographer, will present a short video of her work in progress, Where Good Souls Fear, on Thursday May 7 at 7.00pm.
Annabel Guérédrat and Henri Tauliaut, of the Martinique-based Artincidence, will share their documentary Annabel the Rebel which explores Guérédrat’s practice and work, and the importance of establishing creative dialogue within and beyond the Caribbean. This will be presented as a double bill with Thoughts from FIAP, created by Pawlet Brookes, on Saturday May 9 at 7.00pm.
Yinka Esi Graves is sharing her developing work in progress, Disappearing Act, with a series of short films captured via performances and residencies from the last 12 months. There will be a performance of a new piece of work by Tabanka Dance Ensemble, shared online for the very first time that merges ancestral movements, culturally contextualised vocabulary and Africana movement sensibilities, on Friday May 8 at 7.00pm.
The festival will culminate with the debut of a collective dance short film. The collaborative work, 30 Seconds of Freedom, will be comprised of thirty-second bursts of movement submitted by dancers, artists and enthusiasts from around the world. The aim is to allow everyone to step outside of reality for a while, to breathe, move and connect at a time of social distancing.
All being well, Let’s Dance International Frontiers will return in its physical format in October 2020 for the LDIF20 Finale.
Alternative LDIF Schedule
(all times are UK)
April 29, 2020 at 7.00pm
Celebrating International Dance Day, Serendipity will host an innovative online launch for Alternative LDIF20. By logging onto www.ldif.co.uk viewers will be able to catch the premiere of a short documentary about the publication of a unique new book: LDIF: 10 Years in the Making, capturing the journey and legacy of Let’s Dance International Frontiers and the impact the festival has made on the international dance ecology.
Black Men in Dance: Masculinity in Motion
April 29 – May 16, 2020
Through stills, interviews and videos, Black men in dance describe in their own words how masculinity is portrayed and perceived in various genres of dance.
May 5 – 16, 2020 at 11:00am
Featuring archival footage from past conferences, Dance Dialogues presents the thinking and practices of dancers, choreographers and companies from the African and African-Caribbean diaspora who have made a significant impact in shaping the international dance ecology. Featured speakers: Kyle Abraham, S. Ama Wray, Gladys M Francis, Thomas Prestø, Nora Chipaumire, Chester Morrison, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Ronald K Brown, L’Antoinette Stines, Joan Myers Brown.
Serendipity Podcast Launch
May 5, 2020 at 7:00pm
Serendipity launch their new podcast, exploring the issues, stories and people behind LDIF.
LDIF20 Short Film Screening
May 7 2020 at 4:00pm
A diverse programme of short films exploring dance, storytelling, identity and expression. Through flamenco, street and contemporary dance forms, these short films use dance to express fear, sadness, joy, pride and more. Following the screening, take the opportunity to delve deeper through a discussion of the work.
Featuring: The Man Who Travelled Nowhere in Time (2019), SAETA: The Mourning (2016), PRIDE.forms. (2018), EXILE (2017), HOME (2019), Midnight Bloom (2017), Lil Buck with Icons of Modern Art.
Alice Sheppard: Where Good Souls Fear
May 7, 2020 at 7:00pm
Award-winning choreographer, Alice Sheppard, creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Where Good Souls Fear is an investigation of colonial excess, provoking questions about who or what is too much. Ranging from spoken memories of growing up to lyrical floorwork to an explosion of furious movement, Where Good Souls Fear challenges our notions of propriety for queer, Black, disabled women. Get a unique insight into the development of this work, ahead of the performance in LDIF21.
Tabanka Dance Ensemble
May 8, 2020 at 7:00pm
Merging ancestral movements, culturally contextualised vocabulary and Africana movement sensibilities. Tabanka Dance Ensemble present a new work, shared online for the first time.
Annabel the Rebel
May 9, 2020 at 7:00pm
Annabel Guérédrat and Henri Tauliaut from Artincidence present their short documentary Annabel the Rebel, exploring their artistic practice of live art and movement in Martinique. Followed by Thoughts from FIAP, a short film created by Pawlet Brookes following her trip to the festival last year, and the importance of establishing creative dialogue within and beyond the Caribbean.
Yinka Esi Graves: The Disappearing Act (Work in Progress)
May 12-15, 2020 at 7:00pm
With a short film each evening, flamenco dancer Yinka Esi Graves explores the constant play between being seen and invisibility. This work is created as a response to sites in Spain once connected to their Afro-Andalusian population. Although now forgotten, it is through this absence that Graves explores her physicality.
30 Seconds of Freedom
May 16, 2020 at 7:00pm
Inspired with conversations had in with artists in the midst of the current situation, 30 Seconds of Freedom is a collective dance short bringing together dancers from around the world in an expression of movement, a step outside of reality and a breath in a time of social distancing.
Anyone is welcome to submit 30 seconds of movement, in any style or genre. Movements can be grand or small. Films should be made in a horizontal aspect ratio and emailed to email@example.com by Monday April 27, 2020.