New festival to ‘blur the boundaries’ of sport and dance

Sport and dance will collide in a first-of-its-kind festival.
Sport and dance will collide in a first-of-its-kind festival.
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Sport and dance will collide in a first-of-its-kind festival where artists will showcase a whole new take on “performance sport” in venues throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Developed and designed by young people, the At Your Leisure performances blur the boundaries of sport and dance.

Performances, inspired by sports, are set on Judo mats, around ping pong tables and on football pitches, showing how the two disciplines come together.

Shows, from October 29 to November 3, include The Gentle Way, by urban dance duo Hungry Sharks who use Judo to transform the fighting space. Audiences can also take part in a Judo taster session.

La Partida (The Match) which is taking place at the Penny Pit Football Grounds in Prestonpans, sheds a new light on the beautiful game, and at Out of The Blue Drill Hall dance and ping pong mingle in Doubles as dancers spin, slide and suspend in a playful pop-up ping pong performance.

Festival co-ordinator Anthony Mills said: “Sport inspires millions whether it’s watching or playing. The hours of practice, the thrill of performing and playing in front those watching. It is the same for dance and when dance artists take their unique vision and apply it to sport it makes us see the sports we know in a whole new light.

“Working with young people in East Lothian and Edinburgh we sought the artists making the most exciting sports related shows around the world today.

“By performing in unusual spaces they bring dance to a wider audience that appreciates physical performance in a different way. In combining a programme of performances, workshops and taster sessions, At Your Leisure is a festival that blurs the boundaries between play and performance.”

At Your Leisure has been curated and co-produced by a panel of Young Festival Producers and East Lothian based Room 2 Manoeuvre, in consultation with youth groups and is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. VisitScotland’s director of events, Paul Bush OBE, said: “We are delighted to be supporting At Your Leisure as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

“The event is an incredible opportunity for young people to express themselves through dance and sport and to showcase their unique talents and skills.

“It is great to see that young people have been at the heart of the design from the beginning. The resulting international co-production between Scotland’s young people and the incredible dance companies involved further reinforces Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”

At Your Leisure will culminate at Musselburgh Leisure Centre where sports and dance enthusiasts of all ages can do taster sessions in everything from street dance to table tennis.

newsen@edinburghnews.com