1st-22nd May: International Dance Festival Birmingham 2016

via Mandy for Birmingham Hippodrome


Produced by DanceXchange, in partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome, the award-winning International Dance Festival Birmingham 2016 (IDFB) returns for the fifth time to bring the city alive with dancers from across the globe over three spectacular weeks from 1–22 May 2016.

Fiona Allan, Birmingham Hippodrome Chief Executive and Co-Artistic Director of IDFB said “Here at Birmingham Hippodrome, we are hugely proud to have one of the best stages for dance in the UK. And with the award-winning International Dance Festival (IDFB) returning in May, now is a great time to experience something new and exciting. Join us for a wide range of productions from ballet to contemporary dance – there truly is something for everyone.”

As part of IDFB 2016, Birmingham Hippodrome welcomes three major dance companies, one ballet superstar and a special taster evening of different styles on its main stage, with tickets from just £15.

NEDERLANDS DANS THEATER 2 – 3 & 4 May, 8pm from £15

NDT 2,     , 2015, The Hague, Photography ; Johan Persson
NDT 2, 2015, The Hague, Photography by Johan Persson

Birmingham Hippodrome will welcome 18 international dancers aged 18-23 from Nederlands Dans Theater 2 the junior company of the famed Nederlands Dans Theater. Founded in 1978 it provides a springboard for young, carefully-selected dancers, and offers dancers and budding choreographers the chance to develop together.

NDT2’s vibrant mixed bill is complemented by visual art and composition with innovative light, set and costume designs. I New Then features songs by Van Morrison; mutual comfort receives its UK premiere; the athletic Solo is a fast paced piece by award-winning choreographer Hans van Manen; and the Olivier Award nominated Cacti is choreographed by Alexander Ekman

Expect a thrilling evening of astonishing dance and athleticism.

CARLOS ACOSTA: A Classical Farewell
EXTRA DATE ADDED – final classical ballet – 5-7 May, 7.30pm from £15


Dance superstar Carlos Acosta is no stranger to the Birmingham Hippodrome stage so the theatre is delighted to welcome him back for what will be his final classical ballet programme. A Classical Farewell includes excerpts from his favourite ballet repertoire alongside an incredible cast of Cuban dancers accompanied live by Manchester Camerata.

Carlos Acosta has danced almost every classical role from Macmillan to Balanchine right through to his more recent contemporary roles and never fails to bring a unique quality and magnetism to every movement. Born in Cuba, Acosta has worked with leading international ballet companies including Ballet National de Cuba, English National Ballet and The Royal Ballet where he continues to work as a Principal Guest Artist.

He has received many awards throughout his career, including an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2007 and a Prix Benois de la Danse in 2008, and in 2014 he was made a CBE for services to ballet.

Tickets for the Friday and Saturday performances are sold out, but an extra date on Thursday 5 May has been added.

DANCE: SAMPLED – Enjoy a selection of dance all in one night!
17 & 18 May, 8pm all tickets £15

Julia Hiriart Urruty and Claudio Gonz+ílez_photo by Ale Andrian
photo by Ale Andrian

First pioneered by Sadler’s Wells, Dance: Sampled is a chance for dance fans and newcomers alike to enjoy a diverse range of styles from some of the world’s finest dancers at a specially reduced price. Expect to see some of the world’s best performers in an array of styles from hip hop to tango, ballet, contemporary and South Asian.

The line-up includes work from Company Wayne McGregor, Birmingham Royal Ballet, BBC Young Dancer finalist (and Birmingham-born) Vidya Patel, world tango champions German Cornejo and Gisela Gallessi from Buenos Aires, and a piece by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Ahead of the main stage performances, our foyer spaces will open early to offer audiences the chance to explore a range of dance-related genres and styles from local and regional talent – including community groups, emerging and professional artists – in addition to film and interactive games. Further details are on our website birminghamhippodrome.com

CLOUD GATE DANCE THEATRE OF TAIWAN– 10 & 11 May 7.30pm, from £15

27. Cloudgate 2

Back in 2008, the renowned Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan helped launch the inaugural IDFB integrating martial arts with contemporary dance and had Birmingham audiences mesmerised. Now there is a further rare opportunity to see this much acclaimed company again as they return with Songs of the Wanderers.

Songs of the Wanderers, is a visually stunning piece set to soulful Georgian folk songs and features a truly astonishing set with 3.5 tons of shimmering golden grains of rice! A monk stands still at a downstage corner throughout the 90-minute performance, while a stream of rice grains shower him from above and transform the stage from a river to hills to a desert.

Songs of the Wanderers has been performed in more than 20 countries and is acclaimed as a masterpiece at festivals worldwide.

BALLET BC Spectacular programme from three leading female choreographers; ONLY UK DATES 20 & 21 May, 7.30pm from £15 – Age Guidance 12+


Internationally acclaimed contemporary ballet company, Ballet BC features 17 dance artists each unique for their dynamic movement.

Based in British Columbia, Canada, Ballet BC make their Hippodrome debut with a compelling programme from three leading female choreographers: Bill by ex Batsheva Dance Company member Sharon Eyal featuring music by percussionist and DJ Ori Lichtik; 16 + a room by the company’s Artistic Director Emily Molnar, one of Canada’s “new generation of ballet sensations”; and Solo Echo by Canadian choreographer and performer Crystal Pite who has previously choreographed works for Birmingham Royal Ballet.


Tickets for all productions start from just £15. Patrons can book their own seats online at birminghamhippodrome.com or by calling 0800 338 5000. (Calls cost 4.5p/min plus phone company’s access charge, 5% transaction fee applies).



The award-winning International Dance Festival Birmingham has made its mark as a signature festival for the City of Birmingham bringing people together, widening horizons, providing new experiences and contributing to the local economy.

As well as workshops, exhibitions, outdoor performances and audience participation, the 2016 festival, which runs from 1-22 May, will also present an impressive range of shows from international artists in traditional theatre spaces across the city including Birmingham Hippodrome, The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Crescent Theatre, Birmingham Municipal Bank and further afield, Warwick Arts Centre.

The festival will also feature different dance styles from ballet to neoclassical, contemporary to physical, hip hop to flamenco and circus. There will also be plenty of free performances, helping to engage and enthral shoppers and passers-by, attracting diverse new audiences and creating a buzz on the city streets. For the latest information go to idfb.co.uk

IDFB16 is funded by Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council.