LEAP Dance Festival 2018 – Liverpool

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Photo credit: Brian Slater

LEAP Dance Festival, 2–12 November 2018, from £6.50 - Book now

Liverpool’s LEAP Dance Festival is always an exciting event on the dance calendar and one of the UK’s most anticipated dance festivals. This year the 10-day festival bounces to venues across Liverpool’s Hope University, Creative Campus before vaulting over to The Epstein Theatre for one final show.

To celebrate 100 years since women were first given the right to vote, the theme for this year’s LEAP Dance Festival is suffrage. To mark this historic occasion, each of the performances in the festival will feature women as protagonists and central to the performances. Most exclusively, this is the first time any of these shows have been performed in Liverpool.

Liz Aggiss kicks off the festival with her award-winning Slap and Tickle, a dark physical comedy which seeks to embody feminist dance practice and resist formal convention. A huge supporter of Liz Aggiss’ work, she makes some headway in disrupting conventional attitudes towards the archetypal dance physique and the visibility of older female performers.

Building on the visibility of women, a cast of intergenerational women from Liverpool will perform Gaby Agis: Shouting Out Loud against a soundtrack by punk band The Raincoats. Later that day Gaby Agis will duet with Eva Maria Mutka in a piece entitled Close Streams.

Jo Fong: An Invitation, an interactive and fluid performance in which the audience engage to develop the performance, plays in the Warehouse Studio Theatre. Jo Fong worked extensively with Rosas, DV8 and Rambert and has been considered as ‘something of a legend on the UK contemporary dance scene’ by The Observer. Meanwhile in the Capstone Theatre, there’s a thrilling double bill of dance – Laila Diallo: In This Moment and Liz Roche: Wrongheaded.

The Head Wrap Diaries by Uchenna Dance features three fierce and witty female characters as they explore femininity and culture through an eclectic fusion of House, Waacking, Vogue, African and contemporary dance.

There’s also the opportunity to experience Lost Dog’s Olivier-Award nominated Juliet and Romeo – revealing the raw narrative behind the classic love story – this stunning duet explodes our obsession with youth.

Inspired by the wacky realm of pop culture and mind control conspiracies, Rosie Kay’s hypnotic new work MK ULTRA is a high-energy blend of dance, music and imagery.

The festival concludes with Fagin’s Twist from Avant Garde, the untold story of the Oliver Twist’s Dickensian villain. This headliner – choreographed by Tony Adigun – will see contemporary hip-hop collide with Victorian workhouse.

LEAP 2018 runs as part of Liverpool’s 2018 celebrations marking 10 years since the city was named the 2008 Capital of Culture.

2–12 November 2018
From £6.50