Previe: Beyond Barbican

Dance Nations Dalston at last year's Shoreditch Festival. Pic: Tim Mitchell

Dance Nations Dalston at last year's Shoreditch Festival. Pic: Tim Mitchell - Credit: Archant

The streets of east London are set to radiate with creative energy this summer as the Barbican rolls out pop-up performances, collaborations and festivals beyond its walls.

Beyond Barbican will see the multi-arts venue in Silk Street, Barbican, venture into the East End with a series of events between now and August including a two day festival in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to celebrate the first anniversary of the London 2012 opening ceremony, a major new interactive art installation in Dalston from Argentine artist Leandro Erlich, three site-specific theatre shows, and gigs and performances across the east of the city.

Director of programming at the Barbican, Louise Jeffreys, said: “We have been involved with working with people from east London for a long time. It is important to be interested in your local community.”

The activities will build on the Barbican’s long history of programming and partnerships with artists and organisations across east London boroughs.

Ms Jeffreys added: “It’s great for the local community. There is an incredible amount that east London has to offer. It’s a great place to be and the Barbican is very lucky to be on the east side.

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“By working off-site we hope the Barbican continues to be thought of not only as a home for outstanding art, but also as a valued local community resource that contributes to east London’s thriving cultural life.”

A number of major events will be held in and around Hackney, some of which will be free to attend.

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They kicked off last week with Neon Neon, the band of Super Furry Animals singer Gruff Rhys, LA-based producer Boom Bip and the National Theatre Wales collaborating to create immersive biographical show Praxis Makes Perfect, about the eventful life of Italian political activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, at the Village Underground, Shoreditch.

Other events include Leandro Erlich’s innovative mirror work housed in Dalston House, Ashwin Street, open between June 26 and August 4.

Movie set

Resembling a movie set, the detailed facade of a Victorian terraced house – recalling those that once stood on the street – lies horizontally on the ground with mirrors positioned overhead. The reflections of visitors give the impression they are standing on, suspended from, or scaling the building vertically.

Gillett Square will also be packed with fun as Dance Nations Dalston will bring live music, dance workshops and fun filled activities like hoola-hooping to the heart of Dalston on July 13.

Shoreditch Festival will hit the buzz of Hoxton Street on July 13 and 14 with a mix of live music, dance and family-friendly events celebrating the creativity of east London.

Ms Jeffreys said: “It is really important to get local people involved; this is one of the major reasons as to why we have organised it.”

She added: “Beyond Barbican represents a cross section of the Barbican’s work, giving people an introduction to our programme that we hope will inspire them to continue to seek out new artistic experiences.”

The most anticipated event, however, will be the Open East Festival on July 27 and 28. Ms Jeffreys explained it was not just about standing and staring at a stage, but giving visitors an opportunity to find their way around the Olympic park while enjoying entertainment.

“In terms of audience, it will be the biggest project, we are hoping to attract 20,000 people every day, and it will be fantastic for local and an enjoyable day out.”

Performers include the House of Fairy Tales who take children into magical parallel world, Rebecca Davies with her ice cream van where she records people’s memories and the Barican drummers.

The Barbican is also launching another project on Hackney’s doorstep, Open School East, which will house an art school in a community centre, this September.

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