Introducing Global Streets 2015
People in Luton, Hounslow, Barking and Dagenham, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Doncaster, Leicester, Birmingham and Hull were transfixed and uplifted by their experience of a pilot touring programme of international outdoor arts funded by Arts Council England. Audiences were swept up in a cocktail of dance and paint powder with the French company Artonik; whilst others were immersed in the construction of a monumental cathedral of multi-coloured elastic with the Australian children’s theatre company Polyglot. These free events, presented in places usually characterised by low engagement in the arts, demonstrated a huge appetite for the vision, imagination and sheer sense of surprise that international outdoor arts can offer.
Audiences said how proud they feel that their towns and cities hosted these prestigious international companies. And because the productions themselves have been so intensively immersive and tactile, there has been a genuine outpouring of conviviality at each of these inclusive free outdoor arts experiences. Global Streets set out to reach people in areas of least engagement in the arts across the country and two international outdoor productions, which particularly lent themselves to “hands-on” interactive engagement, were presented.
Compagnie Artonik (France) The Colour of Time was a beautifully conceived promenade dance performance with choreography which evolved from the observation of everyday urban experience through ritual movement to a climactic joyous celebration inspired by the Indian festival of Holi.
Polyglot (Australia) Tangle was an unfolding interactive installation, in which children and their families were provided with balls of brightly coloured elastic, which they used to create an expanding and anarchic architectural structure, accompanied by music.