News & events > UK Now Arts Festival | China
01 Mar 2012 - 01 Oct 2012

UK Now Arts Festival | China

UK Now presents recent and exciting artistic work, both classical and contemporary, to audiences in China. The Festival includes the full range of art forms including music, dance, the visual arts, design, fashion, architecture, theatre, literature, film, digital and live art. Education, outreach projects and creative sector skills and training programmes take place alongside this work. UK Now aims to demonstrate how creative work from the UK extends beyond artistic content to the education practitioners, the community and open-access projects, and the expertise of the arts managers and technicians involved in training schemes. The UK Now Festival takes place between March and October 2012 in cities across China and will be the largest festival of its kind. It includes a range of headline events from the UK's leading companies and institutions, as well as smaller, innovative arts work and capacity building projects. The programme is wide ranging and inclusive, proving the UK's commitment to excellence, access, and diversity (including disability) in the arts, with projects across the arts forms from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There is an emphasis on new-media and technology. The season takes place a year after the success of the UK Pavilion in Shanghai, and aims to build on that success by continuing to promote the UK as a powerhouse of creative thinking. It also falls in the year of the 40th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between the UK and The People's Republic of China. The Festival includes exhibitions from the British Museum and the V&A, as well exhibitions from star architect Richard Rogers, fashion photographer Mario Testino and Turner Prize-winning sculptor Tony Cragg; a selection of critics’ favourites from the Edinburgh Festival; the international Olympics Big Dance; tours by the English National Ballet and some of the UK’s most talented contemporary dance companies; as well as performances by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and young British bands. A parallel programme of skills, training initiatives and education activity will form an integral part of the arts festival. These programmes range from technical skills training to talks and workshops, developed in close association with Chinese partners and delivered by UK experts and artists. The range of events from UK Now include:
  • A major exhibition of the work of sculptor Tony Cragg by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art tours to Beijing and Shanghai from April to December.
  • Vertical Road is Akram Khan's latest contemporary ensemble work where he has assembled a cast of performers from across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. With a specially commissioned score by long-term collaborator, Nitin Sawhney, Vertical Road draws inspiration from the Sufi tradition and the Persian poet and philosopher Rumi and explores man's earthly nature, his rituals and the consequences of human actions. The Akram Khan Company will travel to Beiijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan in May 2012.
  • Created by Tom Dale, Barret Hodgson, and Maria Olga Palliani for the Tom Dale Company and set in a white, digitally animated environment, I Infinite is a multi-media dance installation inspired by the digital world’s quest to re-create life. I, Infinite will be presented at the 23rd Macao Arts Festival, Macao, May 2012.
  • Since 1912 each Olympic host city has commissioned one or more posters to celebrate the hosting of the Games This exhibition presents a collection of Olympic prints by twelve of the UK’s leading artists and will tour to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong from April to August. See one of the selected images on the left by the artist Michael Craig-Martin.
  • Propeller is an all-male Shakespeare company, which mixes a rigorous approach to the text with a modern physical aesthetic. Henry V, one of the greatest classical plays about war in the English language, and Winters Talewill be presented in Beijing and Shanghai in June 2012.
Source: British Council

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