Manchester International Festival, the world’s first artist-led festival of original, new work and special events, has unveiled its 2021 programme, which will take place from 1-18 July. Performing arts, visual arts and popular culture events will take place safely in indoor and outdoor locations across Greater Manchester, from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks. An online offer will provide a window into the Festival wherever audiences are, including livestreams and work created especially for the digital realm.
Choreographer Boris Charmatz invites audiences to join a new dance piece; Sea Change is a human flipbook sprung to life on the streets of Manchester, featuring more than 150 Greater Manchester residents among the cast. The chain of professional and non-professional dancers, each performing and repeating a section of the choreography on the spot will rely on the audience to progress the work, by walking or even running past waves of dancers to animate the action.
Theatre-Rites then presents The Global Playground - a new show mixing dance, music, theatre and puppetry for children and family audiences with a team of international collaborators. Partly inspired by lockdown, The Global Playground explores the magic of first encounters, how we connect and sometimes disconnect – and ultimately how we make the most of the time we spend together, however we spend it.
Finally, Postcards from Now presents five distinct perspectives from leading international artists – choreographers, musicians, visual artists, theatre-makers, animators and more. Commissioned and created at the height of lockdown, the five films will explore everything from community to communication, patriarchy to power. And in very different ways, they consider the question that we’ve all been asking: what happens next?