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Leicester based arts charity Serendipity, are thrilled to announce the programme for the forthcoming Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2017.

The programme launches on 29 April 2017 marking International Dance Day, linking Leicester with global celebrations, followed by two weeks of performances, workshops and discussions aimed at bringing everyone together to access, participate and relish in dance.

The LDIF17 launch sees Urban Bush Women return to Leicester, led by the founder and visioning practitioner, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, who last fascinated Leicester audiences in 2016 with their captivating performance. This year they present their performance in the Victorian, elegant King’s Ballroom at Mercure Leicester – The Grand Hotel, exhibiting a special mixed bill inspired by jazz greats, including an excerpt from ‘Walking with Trane, Side B’ inspired by the musical life of composer and front-runner of jazz innovation, John Coltrane, with original music by Grammy award winning composer George Caldwell. This compilation of performances celebrates both International Dance Day and the launch of LDIF17 in style, and also coincides with Ella Fitzgerald’s centenary on 25 April and International Jazz Day on 30 April. Individuals will also have the opportunity to work alongside UBW’s founder, Jawole, in a two-day intensive course with a series of practical masterclasses and discussion sessions that provide an insight into Jawole’s creative approach.

LDIF welcomes the innovational performance ensemble PHILADANCO led by trailblazer founder Joan Myers Brown. In 2013, Joan was awarded National Medal of the Arts, the highest civic honour of the United States of America by President Barack Obama. She founded PHILADANCO out of a need for training and opportunities for African American dancers, the company merges dance styles including classical ballet, modern dance and preserves African American traditions. The company will present an exciting mixed bill of acclaimed work, including ‘Movement for 5’ a piece inspired by the events surrounding ‘The Central Park Five’, five young men falsely accused and imprisoned for 14 years. PHILADANCO’s variety of performances will be spread over the course of two days at the Curve.

American contemporary dancer Asha Thomas and British Flamenco dancer Yinka Esi Graves draw form their collective experiences to create a unique language between them in CLAY. The two performers explore the connections between who they believe themselves to be, and the unconscious parts that make up who they are.

Now in its seventh year, Signatures, in partnership with Dance4 returns as an exciting platform for emerging dancers and choreographers. Having nurtured and supported the work of over 50 artists and their associates to date, Signatures are delighted to assist these new participants with a platform for their choreographic voices to be heard. Previous Signatures artists Lanre Malaolu and Jessica Walker return to the LDIF stage for Autograph. Having received mentorship from Serendipity and Dance4, they will share how their concepts have progressed over the last year.

For this year’s Biography, LDIF are delighted to invite Pauline Mayers, choreographer, performer and theatre practitioner, Pauline incorporates interdisciplinary practice as an integral part of her process. Her work has been described as ‘beautiful, fierce and radical’.

LDIF17 includes two insightful documentaries in partnership with Phoenix Cinema. The first, a UK premiere, Pharaohs of Memphis is directed by Phoebe Driscoll, delving into the origins of jookin and its current standing in the dance world. Next, director Miguel Ángel Rosales tells the story of the Afro Andalusians and their side-lined contribution to the progression of Flamenco in Gurumbé.

LDIF is delighted to welcome PHILADANCO founder and artistic director, Joan Myers Brown as keynote speaker at Identity and Choreographic Practice Conference. This convention will seek to explore the struggles for visibility and recognition that many practitioners face within their field. Other speakers contributing include Francis Angol, Delia Barker, Sandie Bourne, Nora Chipamaurie, Yinka Esi Graves, David Hamilton, Terry Ofosu, H Patten, Sheron Wray and the event will be hosted by Pawlet Brookes, Serendipity.

Reaching out to the BAME communities, the inclusive Invisibility Visibility: Diverse Voices Within Inclusive Dance Symposium aims to discuss an agenda for change, inclusion and visibility within the sector and beyond. Speakers include Anthony Evans, Epic Arts, Louise Katerega and Louise Dickson.

LDIF embraces the cosmopolitan and international nature of Leicester with a programme that brings diversity to the forefront in dance, and celebrates and supports the work of dancers from the emerging to the established. Taking place at venues across Leicester including Attenborough Arts Centre, Curve, Guildhall, King’s Ballroom at the Mercure Grand Hotel and Phoenix Cinema. LDIF17 launches on the 29 April and runs until 13 May.

For the full programme please visit www.ldif.co.uk.