- Belfast selected for French and Japanese International Cultural Partnerships
- 14 Premieres, 200+ events, 20 days
- 15 October – 3 November 2019
- International programme focuses on crossing artistic borders and pushing boundaries
The programme for the 57th Belfast International Arts Festival has been launched, with a showcase performance by one of the Festival’s signature artists, Cuban-born Parisian musician, La Dame Blanche, who will perform at the Belfast Empire on Friday 18th October. (Real name) Yaite Ramos Rodriguez is the daughter of the Creative Director of the Buena Vista Social Club. Reflecting the festival’s key themes of internationalism and artistic fusion, La Dame Blanche brought guests at the launch to their feet with her infectious and unique blend of hip-hop, cumbia and reggae.
Festival Artistic Director, Richard Wakely unveiled the programme, which will this year feature over 200 events from the world of music, dance, film, visual arts, literature and theatre.
He revealed that Belfast has been chosen to contribute to two major international cultural celebrations, Japan-UK Season of Culture and FranceDance UK. He said, “The 2019 Belfast International Arts Festival will open on 15 October with the UK premiere of Median, a contemporary paring of choreography with digital projection and electronic sound from Japanese multi-disciplinary artist Hiroaki Umeda. Think of the most creative music videos by Radiohead and Aphex Twin, meets the stealth and intensity of The Matrix. Also featuring in the programme will be ASUNA, a wonderful young artist from Tokyo with his quirky, immersive sound installation, 100 Keyboards. It is an honour to have been selected to host some of Japan’s finest artists.”
Richard went on to reveal another major arts first for the city. He said, “Showcasing the best of international dance for Belfast audiences has always been one of my biggest goals for the Festival. I am especially pleased to announce that on the weekend of 25th and 26th October, Belfast International Arts Festival will be co-hosting the first ever all-Ireland dance conference, Co-Motion, in partnership with Dance Ireland, Dance Resource Base and Queen’s University Belfast.
“That weekend’s Festival programme will include performances by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance performing an Irish premiere of Staging Schiele (the story of radical Austrian nude artist and self-portraitist, Egon Schiele) before it heads to Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall for its London run; and acclaimed French company (LA)HORDE performing their high energy jumpstyle piece To Da Bone. This is a captivating, contemporary rebel-call to the social media generation, both in its narrative and in the way that the cast was crowd-sourced from across Europe, through an open audition on the internet. The work of (LA)HORDE will be recognisable from the multi-million-viewed music video for Christine and the Queens’ track Girlfriend.” This y