Big Dance reaches out

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Big Dance, the world's largest dance programme, has announced plans to reach out to communities all over England as part of the London 2012 Festival.

Big Dance 2012 will celebrate the diversity of dance styles across the country by expanding beyond London to a nationwide network of leading dance organisations. Taking place from 7–15 July 2012, the programme will feature an array of events including the creation of a new piece for 2, 000 dancers in Trafalgar Square. Ruth Mackenzie, director of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said: " The success of Big Dance as a Cultural Olympiad project in reaching millions of people in London is a testament to the organisers and funders. The ambition to reach out to communities across the UK in 2012 matches our vision for a UK–wide celebration. Im delighted that Big Dance will be a highlight of this summer of celebration in the London 2012 Festival. " Starting on 21 June 2012, the London 2012 Festival will bring leading artists from all over the world together in a UK‐wide festival celebrating the London 2012 Games. As the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, it will leave a lasting legacy for the arts in this country. Founded in 2006 by the mayor of London in partnership with Arts Council England, Big Dance is Londons Legacy Trust UK programme. More than two million people have taken part in the project – delivered through a network of Londons leading dance organisations – since it began. The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, the Festival will open on 21 June 2012 – Midsummer's Day. It will run until 9 September 2012 – the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. At the heart of the festival will be a programme of commissions by some of the finest artists in the world in events ranging from pop to film, from visual arts and fashion to theatre, from circus to carnival, from opera to digital innovation. The first commissions include works from the likes of Rachel Whiteread, Akram Khan, Cate Blanchett, Mike Leigh and Damon Albarn, Rufus Norris and Jamie Hewlett. Download a PDF of the first commissions by following the link below. In total, the festival will feature more than 1, 000 events, with an estimated audience of more than three million people. Some of the events will be ticketed, some will be free to attend. A dedicated website will go live from summer 2011. Further information on ticketing, pricing and promotional plans will be provided in the build up to the first tickets going on sale in October 2011.

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