An acrobatic show “inspired by the art of Jackson Pollock”, a dramatic “duet between a man and a robot” and a dance piece exploring “the mythical fall of humankind”. Intrigued? I thought you might be. These were just some of the fascinating performances at the 23rd Greenwich + Docklands International Festival which took place in June 2019.
The festival, now in its 25th year, has grown so dramatically from its humble late nineties beginnings that the 2017 event featured over 300 performances with over 100,000 people attending. Produced by FESTIVAL.ORG, an outdoors art organisation which has had previous success working alongside the Mayor of London and other major bodies, the GDIF is nothing if not varied.
The dance explored the fall of humankind is by a troupe called Southpaw. The production essayed the tension between human ambitions and capability using the Greek myth of Icaras, a man who made himself wings (of fur and wax) but disobeyed his father’s advce and flew to close to the sun. The wax wings melted and Icaras fell to earth. Southpaw used the story to explore how human ambition can similarly put us into impossible situations.
The duet between man and machine was called RoboPole. The festival programme described it as “a powerful, visual performance that has to be seen to be believed” with the man, Martin Riedel manoeuvring himself up, down and around a moving robotic pole.
The acrobatic show was called Plock. It featured an acrobat called “Camiel” who “splashes, throws, drips and pours paint onto a canvas in his attempt to create a painting in the style of Jackson Pollock”. Ok, that may sound odd but it was actually one of the highlights of the festival.
The 2020 festival will take place between the 28th of August and the 12th of September 2020.
If you’d like to know about more art events in London, then click here: http://citycountdown.com/index.php/category/london-art-events/