Birmingham International Dance Festival 2018: Day One

by Dave Massey

Birmingham International Dance Festival 2018: Day One

Yesterday saw the first day of the Birmingham International Dance Festival produced by DanceXchange, which takes place until Sunday 24th June 2018.

Previously known as International Dance Festival Birmingham, the Birmingham International Dance Festival has changed its name and reflects a shift in the city, a shift the city of Birmingham.

The festival itself kicked off with Morning Gloryville at 7am on Friday 1st June and last night there was a Brum Radio special dedicated to Birmingham International Dance Festival Takeover which you can hear below:


VR_1 by Gilles Jobin and Artanim

I’d spotted on the extensive programme, a four day event called VR_1 from Gilles Jobin and Artanim. This was a VR headset experience based in the Birmingham Hippodrome’s Patrick Centre.

We arrived for this experience and found ourselves in a black room with a metal frame around it. There were four VR packs on the floor and technicians ready to strap us in. We had pads for our feet and hands to capture our movements and then we put on our headphones and headsets.


Suddenly we were under a rock, in a land filled with giants, which is how I guess we ourselves might look to animals, we were transported into a room filled with 3d miniature dancers and suddenly we were the giants, then we were placed in a bright sun filled city park, with people doing yoga all around us.

Some of those taking part copied the movements of the animated performers, and it was difficult to see who were the animated characters and who were our fellow explorers.

Well worth a visit over the weekend, VR_1 is at Patrick Centre until Monday 4th June with tickets at £6:

Atomos by Company Wayne McGregor

We headed over to the New Alexandra Theatre for a 70 minute dance performance of Atomos, with a company of ten dancers.

Standing in a pixelated world the dancers switch from working together in different sized groups to being individuals, the powerful music wouldn’t be out of place in a creative arts computer game, the type you find on or the ones that say “you will enjoy this experience further if you wear your headphones.”

Using five tv screens with 3D images also made me think of being and individual in a room or group of many people, I could have listened to the music and watched the movements of the dancers for hours.

Birmingham International Dance Festival continues until 24th June find out more about the programme here:

This isn’t a sponsored post. #BrumHour was invited by to these events by Birmingham International Dance Festival.