Quite a distance away from London’s West End – The full programme for Yorkshire Festival 2014 announced. It will run from 27th March to the 6th July 2014.
Highlights include: new commissions from the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle for world renowned sculptor Thomas Houseago; a co-production from Phoenix Dance and NVA featuring a peloton of 50 neon lit cyclists, Fields of Vision – epic land artworks along the course of the Tour and Tour de Cinema – cycling based films shown on outdoor screens in iconic locations around Yorkshire and Maxine Peake makes her stage writing debut with a new play about legendary Yorkshire born cyclist Beryl Burton.
Yorkshire Festival 2014 is the first ever arts festival to precede the Tour de France, the world’s biggest annual sporting event.
Yorkshire Festival 2014 is backed by Welcome to Yorkshire, Yorkshire Water and the Arts Council England as well as Local Authorities across the county.
This morning Executive Producer Henrietta Duckworth announced the full programme of events for the inaugural Yorkshire Festival. For the first time in its 111 year history a cultural festival will precede the Tour de France. On July 5th and 6th, Yorkshire plays host to the Grand Départ – the first two stages of the Tour de France – and in the 100 days preceding, Yorkshire will see 47 cultural events, taking place across the county.
The festival is the brainchild of Welcome to Yorkshire and has been backed by Yorkshire Water, Arts Council England and Yorkshire local authorities.
Los Angeles-based sculptor Thomas Houseago, from Leeds, has been tasked to create two magnificent, giant sculptures for Leeds city centre and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. These will be his first commissions for his home county and the first ever commissions to be made by the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle.
Phoenix Dance Theatre, in Leeds, will join forces with Scottish public arts charity NVA to create the world’s first Ghost Peloton, led by Phoenix artistic director Sharon Watson and NVA creative director Angus Farquhar. Ghost Peloton incorporates a riding team of 50 road racers, stunt cyclists and large-scale projection of dancers all utilising unique remote controlled light suits to produce a stunning live choreography. Ghost Peloton builds on the worldwide success of Speed of Light, which was first commissioned for the London 2012 Olympics. An appeal has now gone out to Yorkshire cyclists to get involved in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Fields of Vision will comprise of huge, grass-based land art installations in the stunning South Pennine Landscape. It will bring together artists, young farmers, cyclists and the community. The works will be visible along the route of the Tour de France.
Tour de Cinema presents fiction and documentary films on 10 outdoor screens in stunning locations across Yorkshire, in 35 local Town Halls in the county as well as city centre big screens. Two new films will be made from fantastic archive of cycling through the century, including a new film from award-winning filmmaker Daisy Asquith whose recent work includes the documentary Crazy About One Direction.
West Yorkshire Playhouse will host Beryl written by TV star Maxine Peake to celebrate the extraordinary sporting achievements of Morley cyclist Beryl Burton. Beryl is a specially commissioned adaptation from Peake’s acclaimed 2012 Radio 4 play and marks her stage writing debut.
Maxine said: “I was given Beryl’s autobiography as a gift from my boyfriend a few years ago now and I was struck immediately by her strength and determination. The ordinary and extraordinariness of Beryl. She was an amazing woman, yet it felt to me outside of cycling circles very few people have heard of her. Her achievements were nothing short of remarkable , her dedication, talent and sacrifice as a cyclist was incredible. Here was a housewife and Mother from Morley who was also the top athlete in her chosen field. How did she balance all of those things? I originally developed Beryl as a radio play for the BBC but have been commissioned by West Yorkshire Playhouse to turn it into a stage play, and what better place to do that than in her home city. It’s very exciting that the show is part of the Yorkshire Festival celebrating Yorkshire’s role in the Grand Départ.”
These are some of 47 projects commissioned (full programme in attached brochure PDF) to be officially part of the 100-day festival – which will also include hundreds of fringe events.
Henrietta Duckworth, the festival’s Executive Producer, said: “Today we wanted to give people a flavour of this brand new arts festival – Yorkshire’s a big wide county and we’ve worked with our world-class artists to create a rich and diverse programme of opportunities and surprises. It’s a first for the Grand Départ and a festival of events across all art-forms. We invite everyone to explore the new, celebrate together and be part of it.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The Yorkshire Festival 2014 will be a countywide celebration of arts and culture creating excitement and anticipation in the 100 days before greatest free sporting show on the planet arrives in Yorkshire.”
Richard Flint, Chief Executive of Kelda Group and Yorkshire Water, said: “The Grand Départ goes through the heart of many of our reservoir catchments in north, west and south Yorkshire and we are proud to be supporting Yorkshire Festival 2014 which promotes the terrific talent and beauty our great region has to offer.”
Sarah Maxfield, Director North, Arts Council England said: “Arts Council England is really proud to be supporting the festival. A festival of over 100 days is an ambitious goal but I’m very impressed by the high quality and breadth of the programme which is sure to impress the thousands of visitors from Yorkshire and beyond and will provide a lasting legacy for culture in the North.”
Cllr Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council, which has co-ordinated local authority support for the festival said: “Yorkshire Festival 2014 will be a spectacular experience with a packed programme celebrating the strength of the arts across the region. On behalf of all the supporting local authorities we are proud to have been involved in its organisation and look forward to its success.”
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Wednesday 29th January 2014