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Manchester International Festival Drop in the Ocean

This year's festival launches with a mass participation event and Greater Manchester residents are invited to get involved.

From dad dancing at a wedding to the Hacienda shuffle, everybody likes a good dance, sometimes aided by some social lubrication such as alcohol. The numerous TV shows with related themes reveal the fixation people have with this art form. What theatres would do now to hold a money making hit such as Lord of the Dance.

With that in mind, Manchester International Festival (MIF), which launched its summer 2021 programme last month, is inviting 160 Greater Manchester residents to take part in Sea Change. It's an immersive dance event that will open up this year's festival along Deansgate on Thursday 1 July.

It's the creation of French choreographer Boris Charmatz, whose team of professional dancers will lead participants through the steps of a series of dance movements to be performed on the spot. The audience will be invited to engage directly with the performance by weaving in and out of rows of volunteer dancers to help to create an improvised and unique sequence of movements.

What Is the City but the People launch event for Manchester International Festival 2017 Credit Jon Super 002

What Is the City but the People - the launch event for Manchester International Festival 2017

Jon Super

Participants will be asked to attend eight rehearsal sessions over ten days between Saturday 19 June and the world premiere on Thursday 1 July. No dance experience is necessary, and all fitness and mobility levels are welcome.

If you remember Boris’ sensational production of 10,000 gestures at MIF17, you’ll know this is not an opportunity to be missed. If you live in Greater Manchester, are aged 18+, want to meet new people and help create memories for yourself and many other as part of this year’s MIF, apply using the online form linked below.

The event is part of a festival programme that sees international talents from a wide range of artistic backgrounds descend on Greater Manchester from 1-18 July 2021, including Patti Smith, Arlo Parks, and Rashid Rana. They will join a roster of performers based in the region, with Mr Scruff, Homoelectric, and Lemn Sissay all tasked with curating events.

Learn more

To take part in Sea Change, complete the online form by the deadline of 1 June 2021.

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