Flashdance at Trinity Leeds
Clare Burnett

Member Article

Flash mob at Trinity Leeds sets the scene for Yorkshire Festival 2014

A flash mob at Trinity Leeds set the scene for the great reveal of the Yorkshire Festival 2014 programme today.

They are all part of the full programme of events which were announced today for the first time, as the county gears up for Yorkshire Festival 2014 – the first ever to precede the Tour de France in its 111 year history.

The festival is the brainchild of Welcome to Yorkshire and has been backed by Yorkshire Water, Arts Council England and Yorkshire local authorities.

Out of almost 400 bids, 47 projects were commissioned (full programme in date order attached) to be officially part of the 100-day festival - which will also include hundreds of fringe events.

Highlights include: 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.

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.

Award-winning director Daisy Asquith teams up with cult musician Bill Nelson to create a new film as part of a series of screenings to be shown on 10 outdoor screens in stunning locations across Yorkshire.

Tour de Cinema presents fiction and documentary films (including Alan Bennett’s rarely seen BBC film ‘A Day Out’, about a Halifax cycling club; and Jarvis Cocker’s blazing soundtrack for The Big Melt) also in 35 local town halls and city centre big screens.

Young farmers and artists will create eight stunning major land art pieces across South Pennines landscape for Fields of Vision, co-ordinated by Pennine Prospects. This will capture the spirit and impact of the tour on the landscape of Yorkshire

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 free 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.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills, said: “The Yorkshire Festival 2014 is going to provide the perfect build-up to the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, showcasing the very best of the arts and culture in Leeds and the county.

The Leeds elements are hugely exciting, from the much-anticipated work of sculpture by Thomas Houseago which will be next to the startline outside Leeds Art Gallery, to the spectacular performances of Ghost Peloton by Pheonix Dance Theatre on the former Tetley Brewery site and Twilight of the Gods by Opera North which are not to be missed.

“Add to that the story of the amazing Beryl Burton being told at West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Tour photography exhibition at the White Cloth Gallery, a famous clock once owned by Marie Antoinette on show at Harewood House and finishing with the Bicyclism exhibition at Leeds City Museum, there really is something for everyone to enjoy as we get ready for the big day on July the fifth.”

Visit www.yorkshirefestival.co.uk, Yorkshire Festival on Facebook or follow Yorkshire Festival 2014 on Twitter - @YFest2014

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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