DistDancing Returns

The alfresco dancing initiative has now reopened at Hoxton Docks. Peter Gray reports.

In the stop start world of 2020, is anyone really surprised when an event suddenly appears, then just as quickly disappears, before reappearing again.

The event in question is DistDancing. The initiative, which sees members of the distinguished Royal Ballet Company perform impromptu performances on Hoxton Docks, first came to public attention in August 2020, when several London websites reported on the event.

However, just as quickly as it appeared, it also disappeared, with the organisers of the initiative becoming embroiled in an argument with Hackney Council.

Fortunately, following a flood of complaints, DistDancing is back! The group are no longer following a set schedule – so catching a performance might be a bit tricky, but DistDancing are now beaming their performances over Instagram – so, you’ve got absolutely no excuse to miss them!

The initiative is the work of dancer Chisato Katsura, the Osaka born Japanese star of the Royal Ballet. Alongside Royal Ballet soloist Valentino Zucchetti, Katsura has devised a socially distanced impromptu programme of dance, using the pontoon opposite Hoxton Docks Art Centre as an impromptu stage.

 ‘In the future, it will be much harder to push forward with our old ways, like performing in theatres,’ Katsura said to Time Out London. ‘But this is exciting, and it makes ballet much more accessible especially for people who may have had the assumption that ballet is boring. The reaction from the audience has been amazing. Even though there’s a canal separating us you still feel so connected.’

For more information on DistDancing please check out the group’s Instagram account here.

For information on other great outdoor activities in London, please click here.


-London's Best Events-
What: alfresco dancing
When: no schedule
Where: hoxton Docks
Website: DistDancing