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Summer 2013 at The Barbican Centre

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Introduction: 30 years and counting

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Introduction: 30 years and counting
Introduction: 30 years and counting
Beyond Barbican
Beyond Barbican
Beyond Barbican
Beyond Barbican
Beyond Barbican
Beyond Barbican
Beyond Barbican
Beyond Barbican
Beyond Barbican
EAST at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Art & Film: Dancing Around Duchamp
Art & Film: Dancing Around Duchamp
Art & Film: Dancing Around Duchamp
Mayor of London's Shubbak Festival
Mayor of London's Shubbak Festival
Mayor of London's Shubbak Festival
Technology: Hack the Barbican
Music: Kronos Quartet turns 40
Music: Kronos Quartet turns 40
 

 

The Barbican Centre is the largest multi-purpose, cross-genre performing arts centre of its kind in Europe and one of London's cultural heavyweight venues. Find out the highlights of the Barbican's summer 2013 programme - both inside and beyond the walls of the Centre.

 
 

Introduction: 30 years and counting

 

As The Barbican's 30th anniversary continues apace, the multi-purpose performing arts centre in the City of London goes from strength to strength. Bolstered by the arrival of two new cinemas in 2012 and looking ahead to the opening of the new 608-seat Milton Court concert hall in September 2013, The Barbican spreads its wings this summer with Beyond Barbican - an exciting programme of events taking place outside the walls of the Centre that includes pop-ups, commissions and collaborations across east London - and EAST, a weekend of international music, food, theatre and art at the reopened Olympic Park.

 
 
 

Beyond Barbican

 

Beyond Barbican features three site-specific theatre shows - Bank On It in Hackney, How Like An Angel in St Bartholomew the Great and The Paper Architect in Waltham Forest; a major interactive art installation from Argentine artist Leandro Elrich in Dalston; an immersive theatrical experience in Village Underground from Neon Neon with the National Theatre Wales; music and dance in Gillett Square and at the Shoreditch Festival; Open School East, a ground-breaking arts education project; and Union Chapel gigs by Israeli singer-songwriter Asaf Avidan and new super-group The Gloaming.

Renowned for his captivating three dimensional visual illusions, Leandro Erlich's public off-site installation work resembles a movie set, featuring the façade of a late nineteenth-century Victorian terraced house in Dalston. The façade is in fact lying on the ground and a series of large lightweight mirrors give the impression that visitors are standing on, suspended from or scaling the building vertically. It's one of those bafflingly brilliant cultural oddities that has to be seen to be believed - and will surely generate a lot of "wows" from both kids and adults alike. Dalston House (26th June - 4th August) is part of the 2013 London Festival of Architecture and is installed on a disused lot on Ashwin Street that has largely remained vacant since being bombed in WWII.

Bank On It (22nd June - 14th July), by the award-winning children's theatre company Theatre-Rites, is the Barbican's first off-site theatre production of the summer. This world premiere uses a combination of actors, puppeteers and some unexpected characters to tell the topical story of money, inviting the audience to explore a bank's secrets. Australian contemporary circus company Circa are behind the second off-site piece, collaborating with I Fagiolini, the British vocal ensemble, in How Like An Angel at the historic Smithfield church, St Bartholomew the Great (25th-28th June). The third production, The Paper Architect (3rd-21st July), takes place in an east London venue to-be-announced and tells the enchanting tale of a lonely man who longs for a life he never led.

Neon Neon, the band of Super Furry Animals' singer Gruff Rhys, LA-based producer Boom Bip and National Wales Theatre perform Praxis Makes Perfect at Village Underground (4th-6th June), a biographical musical show and immersive theatrical experience based on and inspired by the remarkable life and times of Italian publisher and left-wing political activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, who died in suspicious circumstances in 1972.

Asaf Avidan's exclusive performance at Union Chapel (6th June) will be popular with fans of this burgeoning Israeli talent, whose mesmerising voice has been compared to that of Jeff Buckley and Janis Joplin. At the same Highbury & Islington venue, The Gloaming (19th June) will blend Irish folk music with the New York contemporary music scene.

Launching as summer merges into autumn in September, Open School East will oversee the opening of an art school and a communal centre in Hackney in an exciting new artistic, social and education initiative commissioned by the Barbican and east London arts venture Create London. In nearby Gillett Square in Dalston, Dance Nations Dalston (13th July) will create a carnival atmosphere with a free day of live music and dance workshops for all ages and abilities. On the same weekend, the Shoreditch Festival (13th-14th July) lights up Hoxton with the Barbican taking charge of Sunday's festivities, which include live music, theatre and dance.

 
 
 

EAST at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Open East Festival Open East Festival The Barbican Centre's most ambitious off-site event this summer, Open East Festival reopens the north section of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on the first anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games. The weekend-long celebration includes live international music, the Real Food Festival and a Mini-Travelling Art Circus, presented by The House of Fairy Tales and featuring theatre, magic, music and games. The Art Car Boot Fair will showcase signed work by local artists; Caught By The River combines literature, angling, music and beer; Eco Design Fair put on an arts and fashion market, blending the best vintage and contemporary designs the capital has to offer. There's family storytelling from the Discover Children's Story Centre, performances and workshops from Theatre Royal Stratford East, Boy Blue Entertainment and Ida Barr, and family trails and riverbank picnics. A year on from the global sporting event that transformed east London, Open East Festival - which sees the Park work in partnership with the Barbican and Create London in part of the Beyond Barbican programme of events - aims to commemorate the creative legacy of London 2012, celebrate its landscape and bring it to life for everyone to enjoy. 2013-07-272013-07-28 Where:
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Olympic Park, London London, E20 2ST
Category: Seasonal

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Olympic Park, London, E20 2ST

Tube: Hackney Wick Overground Station

 

Dates: 27th - 28th July 2013

 

EAST (27th-28th July), The Barbican's most ambitious off-site event this summer, reopens the north section of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on the first anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games. The weekend-long celebration includes live international music, the Real Food Festival and a Mini-Travelling Art Circus, presented by The House of Fairy Tales and featuring theatre, magic, music and games. The Art Car Boot Fair will showcase signed work by local artists; Caught By The River combines literature, angling, music and beer; Eco Design Fair put on an arts and fashion market, blending the best vintage and contemporary designs the capital has to offer.

There's family storytelling from the Discover Children's Story Centre, performances and workshops from Theatre Royal Stratford East, Boy Blue Entertainment and Ida Barr, and family trails and riverbank picnics. A year on from the global sporting event that transformed east London, EAST - which sees the Park work in partnership with the Barbican and Create London - aims to commemorate the creative legacy of London 2012, celebrate its landscape and bring it to life for everyone to enjoy.

 
 
 

Art & Film: Dancing Around Duchamp

 

The Barbican's summer season is not taking place wholly outside the actual Centre, however. Granted, there will be no shows in the Barbican Theatre from May through to the autumn because of major refurbishment works, but elsewhere the diverse programme of events that reflect the Barbican's reputation as one of Europe's leading cultural hubs continues unaffected.

Running until late July, the acclaimed Dancing Around Duchamp multi-disciplinary season brings together key figures of the avant-garde with a shared Dadaist sensibility who changed the course of 20th century art. Part of this journey among the absurd, the subversive, the provocative and the darkly humorous is Geoffrey Farmer's installation piece The Surgeon and the Photographer, made out of 365 hand puppets created from images cut out of old books and magazines and mounted onto fabric, which runs until 28th July at The Curve gallery.

The on-going Dancing Around Duchamp bonanza also includes a film season at the three Barbican Cinemas: A Grammar of Subversion (31st May - 3rd June), a programme of films that explore themes of sexual identity and play, irreverence and anarchy, the irrational and chance, the provocative and subversive - all associated with the painter Marcel Duchamp and the wider Dada movement.

Other film highlights of the summer include the ninth Palestine Film Festival (3rd May to 9th May), which combines political documentary, animation, science fiction, comedy, and supernatural drama, alongside a host of UK premieres; a screening of the landmark production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (24th-27th May) directed by Patrice Chéreau for the centenary of the Bayreuth Festival in 1976; and highlights from the 2012 Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, with two sessions on both 18th June and 25th June.

 
 
 

Music: Kronos Quartet turns 40

 

Contemporary concerts at the Barbican this summer include an intriguing collaboration between four-time Grammy Award nominated Iranian kamanchech (a traditional four-stringed, upright Persian fiddle) maestro Kayhan Kalhor and New York-based string quartet Brooklyn Rider in Barbican Hall on 1st June. The inventive singer Rickie Lee Jones tackles classics from the Rolling Stones to Neil Young at the Hall on 13th July. But the summer highlight at the Hall sees the artist and composer Laurie Anderson team up with the visionary Kronos Quartet in the European premiere of an evening-length work combining spoken text written by Anderson and a dozen new songs performed by the American string quartet. Landfill: Scenes from My New Novel (28th June) is part of the Kronos Quartet's 40th anniversary celebrations, which continue through autumn and into spring 2014.

Also worth mentioning is the French ensemble Les Arts Florissants, one of the most respected Baroque groups in Europe, who perform the Fifth Book of Claudio Monteverdi's Madrigals on 15th June in a mouth-watering one-off event at the Hall, with the terrific tenor Paul Agnew directing and performing.

 
 
 

Mayor of London's Shubbak Festival

 

Following its successful inaugural edition two years ago, the Mayor of London's Shubbak Festival (22nd June - 6th July) - the city's celebration of contemporary Arab art and culture - returns to the Barbican with an opening double bill at the Hall on 22nd June that brings together two of Algeria's most outspoken musical rebels, Rachid Taha and Souad Massi. Taha is an activist rocker whose ninth studio album included cameos by Mick Jones of The Clash, Agnes B and Eric Cantona, while Massi has been hailed as Maghreb's answer to Tracy Chapman, crossing genres while persevering with a wistful penchant for melancholic ballads. A second Shubbak (meaning 'window' in Arabic) concert sees Lebanese singer and oud player Marcel Khalifé and his Al Mayadeen Ensemble team up on 29th June.

 
 
 

Technology: Hack the Barbican

 

In August, London's largest ever experiment in interdisciplinary collaboration takes place with Hack the Barbican, a month-long season of technology, art and entrepreneurship. The core of this exciting free event will be a series of residencies held in specially constructed studios and workshops spread throughout the public foyer spaces in which a range of practitioners will develop new work across disciplines.

With such a diverse and challenging spread of events both inside and beyond the Centre walls this summer, The Barbican has safeguarded its dynamic leading role in London's cultural offering, bringing together theatre, visual art, design, fashion, film, music, dance and creative learning under one metaphorical roof, and combining the best international, local and innovative arts.

 
 
Sophie Wallace

EDITOR

Sophie Wallace

28th November 2014

 

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