Thursday, August 10, 2006


The Festival rolls into week 2


The 1830 BBC London news programme naturally had a report on today's headline story of the police's claims that they had foiled a major bomb plot. The programme discussed the effect this would have on tourism in London. A news reporter stood in Trafalgar Square asking questions to Ken Kelling of Visit London. Apparently, the hotel industry, especially after last year's London attacks, were extremely pessimistic and said that it could lead to a decline in tourism.

Well today, judging by the crowds at TS there appeared to be no immediate impact at least. There were a lot of people here to watch 'Awaz' by Akademi kick off the second week of the festival. With people handing out leaflets and information on Akademi to the public, just prior to the performance (including one with a picture of them all at TS), they seem like a very professional outfit. Their aim is to promote South Asian music and they did a very interesting performance. They'll be performing until Sunday and more will be written about them then.

Afterwards came 'Mandela' by Tavaziva Dance. The title being quite self-explanatory, they had created a dance inspired by Nelson Mandela's autobiography 'The Long Walk to Freedom'. The dancing was very good and my only regret was that the narration seemed to be in an African dialect, therefore I had no way to understand what was happening story-wise.

Nelson Mandela has a very strong link to Trafalgar Square. 'Pax Pace Paz Paix Peace' by Helen Chadwick Group sang songs from poems and words by famous 'peace-fighters' such as Mandela. A very interesting idea and no better place in London than TS, where countless peace demonstrations have occurred.

One of their songs they sang was based on a poem by Pablo Neruda, where he stated that he wanted to live in a world of 'great common tenderness'.

Tavaziva Dance then returned to perform a little more of 'Mandela' before 'Road to Nowhere' by The Shout came on. Their performance was rather different from what we had seen earlier. They sang a song about the 1936 unemployed shipyard workers' long walk from Northumberland to TS. The singers had very powerful voices with a strong drum beat to assist. I can still hear the chant of 'goodbye to the shipyard' ringing in my head.

It was a very nice way to end Week 2 Day 1 of the festival. As I'm sure you already know, we have an interview with Cathy Marston, who is the choreographer of 'Spell' on Saturday. Be sure to check it out.

Good content, good pictures - very informative all round. Thanks, Maxim.
Love the pics and info - great!
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