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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Tees Valley prepares to celebrate the 50th Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance

Friday, August 08, 2014


Issued on behalf of Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance (BIFF)

One of the North-East’s longest standing festivals celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend as hundreds of world class performers descend upon Tees Valley.

On Saturday, the Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance (BIFF) will kick off the latest journey of its five decade adventure. The Town will be jumping with activity from street parades through to glamourous Gala events – please check out the attached events programme for all potential media/photo opportunities throughout the Festival .

A great deal of the excitement will take place in a specially constructed open air ‘Festival Arena’ that is sited outside of the Town’s Forum Theatre.

Between 9-16 August there will be performances by dance companies gathered from as far afield as Chile, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, North Cyprus, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and the UK.

Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance is supported by Arts Council England, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Joe Maloney, Festival Director of Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance, said: “We are so proud and looking forward to this year’s festival, not only because of the 50th anniversary but also as the programme is more diverse than it has ever been.

“BIFF 2014 has a very different look about it with a more Contemporary element to the proceedings that just shows our intentions to move with the times. But don’t worry we’ve also programmed plenty of traditional World Dance that has been the backbone of the Festival for so many years.

“We can’t thank local people enough for their passionate and continued support over the past 50 years. The festival team are really excited to be welcoming audiences old and new to our exciting programme of events.”

Leader of Stockton Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “We are delighted Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The colourful and lively festival is very much loved by people across the Borough and brings hundreds of performers from across the globe right to our doorstep. This first-class event gives people the opportunity to be part of their community and helps to boost the local economy at the same time. We are very proud to support the Festival.”

Here’s a little taster of what people can expect during BIFF 2014:

Monday 11th August:
International Concert feat performers from Spain, Mexico (Danzon), Ireland, South Korea, N. Cyprus, Russia, Element Dance (UK/Brazil) / Festival Arena, Billingham (2.00 pm & 8pm)
Journey Through the World of Dance / Crypt, Town Hall, Middlesbrough (7.30 pm)

Tuesday 12th August:
International Concert feat performers from Italy, Thailand, Russia, Spain and South Korea (2pm)
BRAZIL featuring Element Arts Company / Empire Theatre, Middlesbrough (7.30pm)

Wednesday 13th August: 
Tea Dance Party feat Mexico (Danzon) / Crypt, Town Hall, Middlesbrough (1-4pm)
International Concert feat performers from Chile, North Cyprus, Mexico (Recreacion), Spain / Festival Arena, Billingham (2pm)

Thursday 14th August:
ERHEBUNG Dance / Sculpture / Sonic / Art Installation by ATMA dance / mima (1pm, 2pm, 5pm)
International Concert feat performers from Italy, Thailand, Mexico (Recreacion), Spain, and Mexico (Danzon) / Festival Arena, Billingham (2pm)
Gala Night including ZENDEH’s “Poetry in Motion” / Middlesbrough Theatre (7.30pm)

Friday 15th August:
International Concert feat performers from Mexico (Recreacion), North Cyprus, South Korea, Russia, UK (Fosbrooks) and Chile / Festival Arena, Billingham (2pm)
Tea Dance Party featuring World Dance from Mexico (Danzon) / St Aiden’s Church Hall, Billingham (3pm)
Gala Night including ZENDEH’s “Poetry in Motion” / Forum Theatre, Billingham (7.30pm)

Saturday 16th August:
Farewell Parade from Billingham Community Centre, through Roys Arch to the Festival Arena / Billingham Town Centre (1.45pm)
Farewell Concert feat all International Dance Companies / Festival Arena, Billingham (2pm) Closing Ceremony / Festival Arena, Billingham (9pm)
Firework display / John Whitehead Park, Billingham (10pm)

The venues across the North-East taking part in BIFF 2014 include BILLINGHAM - Billingham Town Centre, The Festival Arena, The Forum Theatre, The Bandstand, The Ramp, St Aiden’s Church Hall and John Whitehead Park; MIDDLESBROUGH - The Empire Theatre, The Crypt, mima and Middlesbrough Theatre; and NEWCASTLE - Dance City.

People interested in learning more about the full Festival programme can call 01642 553 220 or everything you will ever need to know about Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance can be found at www.billinghamfestival.co.uk (tickets can also be bought online).

Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Festival’s dedicated box office in Billingham Town Centre (address – 5 West Precinct) with the office being open Monday to Saturday, 10:30am until 2pm.

There are a wide variety of free and ticketed events to entertain people with a wide range of dance tastes that will be presented in venues across Billingham, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

People can also get up to date information from the Festival’s Face Book and Twitter pages www.facebook.com/billinghamworlddancefestival and @BillFest

The Festival will take place come rain or shine! 

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