beyond borders

Beyond Borders


Birmingham International Dance Festival

The world premiere of Beyond Borders was part of the Birmingham International Dance Festival, available to watch on BIDF TV, over the weekend.

As with most events and performances, digital is the key to keeping everything going during this pandemic so the entire festival went digital covering dementia, our relationship with animals and untold stories of World War I’s colonial soldiers.

Beyond Borders was filmed in various locations across the West Midlands, under the arches in Digbeth, around the stones at the summit of the Clent Hills and across to Fort Royal Park in Worcester with the cathedral as an impressive backdrop.

Working with the theme One with Nature as inspiration, from our offices and living rooms we could be transported outside amid the elements and bear witness to emerging dance leaders, young leaders and digital artists joining over 120 young people dancing outdoors in the fresh air.

Created in partnership by Dance Development Leaders Group (DDLG), Arts Connect and DanceXchange this 11 minute film uses dappled light, rain drops, rivers and bridges to bring the viewer closer to nature through texture, movement and weather.

It begins quite playfully as children hide behind trees and run through leaves and takes a rather serious tone when plastic sheeting is pulled along the ground suffocating the soul. While dancers struggle to breathe they break free and emerge into the sunlight and are able to grow, learn and flourish. A feast for the senses as the rain beats down and the rivers flow lending direction to the story.

How we treat nature is at the heart of everything and beautifully expressed by dance artists from Ascension Dance Company, Brewhouse Arts Centre and Dancefest to name a few.

Well worth a watch and added a thoughtful layer to the festival. A special mention goes out to Helen McLaughlin for her letter to nature.

“Youth dance is important because it is the future of dance. And the young dancers who were involved in this are tomorrow’s dancers, and next year’s dancers, and those are the people who are going to change the world”, said Sam Strachan, support assistant for Beyond Borders.

Emma Trimble



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