The consortium of the UK’s leading street arts festivals, confirms significant Arts Council England backing for a third year

Seven commissions announced, including new work from Balletboyz II,
NoFit State Circus and Punchdrunk

First premiere 25 May in Castles in the Air, Penrith.
Without Walls, the consortium of eight of the UK’s most strategically-significant street arts festivals, has received major funding from Arts Council England for the third year running. In a vote of confidence in the effectiveness of the consortium, Arts Council England has given Without Walls a grant of £399,975 to commission and present new, surprising and engaging outdoor performances from leading and developing artists. The resulting shows will be seen by tens of thousands of people at festivals across the UK.

The seven commissioned companies are Mancunian Steam & Pressure Navigation Company, Balletboyz II, Punchdrunk, Marc Brew Company, stopGAP, NoFitState and Fittings Multi Media. Without Walls is also supporting the UK tours of Bootworks’ Little Box of Horrors and Metro Boulot Dodo’s Hansel and Gretel.

Mancunian Steam & Pressure Navigation Company’s Galvonium, a curious interactive musical instrument featuring some unexpected components, premieres in the Castles in the Air festival, Penrith on 25 May. Castles in the Air is part of Lakes Alive, the newest member of Without Walls.

Two high-profile commissions premiere at X.TRAX Manchester on 6 June. Balletboyz II: The Next Generation sees the first outdoor dance piece from this acclaimed company – The Laws of Motion, a thrilling, pulsating and fluid male quartet for four of the company’s new generation of performers. Renowned for immersing their audience in dramatic locations, Punchdrunk’s The House That Jack Built is a quirky dance theatre work where three characters create a world made from straw.

Integrated dance company StopGAP premieres its new show Tracking at Greenwich + Docklands International Festival on 26 June. StopGAP’s five dancers are joined by performer David Toole, celebrated for his work with both CandoCo and DV8. They sneak out of the crowd and on to the streets, targeting passers-by for their audience, for an outdoor experience where rain certainly doesn’t stop play! Also premiering at GDIF is former CandoCo dancer Marc Brew, recently included in Time Out’s London’s Rising Dance Talent, with Nocturne, the latest work for his Marc Brew Company.

NoFit State Circus is leading the renaissance of contemporary circus in the UK. Following the huge success of Tabu, the company’s latest work Park Life premieres at Stockton International Riverside Festival on 30 July to 2 August (exact date tbc).

Mark Mulqueen, Head of Performing Arts and Literature at Arts Council England, North East, says: “Arts Council England is proud that its three year investment in the Without Walls consortium has had such a significant impact on outdoor arts in England. The quality and diversity of the productions has engaged and enthralled audiences from across the country. The commitment and integrity of the Without Walls consortium in developing accessible high quality outdoor events is highly commendable.”

Without Walls, the consortium of eight leading outdoor arts festivals, was set up in 2006 to help to develop and strengthen the landscape and profile of outdoor performance in the UK. The festivals share a commitment to working together to create a more secure environment where new work can flourish and new audiences can be developed.

2009-05-14 15:35:38

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