The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is creating London’s most sophisticated street party as their contribution to the celebrations for the London 2012 Olympic Games
London‟s Olympic and Paralympic Games are the world‟s highest profile youth festivals, so ROAD SHOW will feature the work of emerging young artists, thinkers and musicians and will be the place for Londoners and visitors to unwind and recharge during the Olympics.
At a press briefing today at the Natural History Museum, the „Exhibition Road Show‟ was unveiled. The event will celebrate the refurbishment of Exhibition Road, contribute to the Royal Borough‟s creative urbanism and re-assert Exhibition Road as London‟s cultural and intellectual heartland.
Created by leading arts producer Di Robson of DREAM, ROAD SHOW is being delivered in partnership with the Exhibition Road Cultural Group and Westminster City Council.
“The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea wants to contribute to the success of the London 2012 Olympics. That’s why three years ago we commissioned a festival to celebrate the Games and the creativity of the Royal Borough. ROAD SHOW is the result of our commitment to promoting our people, our place and the new public space of Exhibition Road. Exhibition Road is of national and international importance, housing iconic scientific and cultural collections. Its institutions lead research in both the arts and sciences, reflecting the legacy of the1851 Great Exhibition. ROAD SHOW uses the themes of innovation, risk taking, creativity and human endeavour, to create a very special street party to welcome the world and mark an important moment in the history of our city” says Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell, Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Running over the first nine days of the Olympic Games, the Festival will explore the creative potential of this extraordinary new urban streetscape with games, dance, scientific experiments and debates, music, acrobatics and aerial displays, new writers‟ commissions and visual art installations.
How It All Comes Together
DREAM has devised a method of delivering key elements of the festival onto the road with a series of customised trailers, that will enter and exit the site via side roads and leave the streetscape relatively infrastructure free.
These trailers have been created for the Festival by Star Events. The trailers will stage music, exhibitions, acrobatics, speakers and debates. They are an innovative new development for the creation and delivery of street events.
The trailers will be used to stage an international music programme that will be exciting and eclectic spanning classical, contemporary, pop and folk music. Confirmed artists include Eliza Carthy, Partick Wolf, Kåmmer Klang and marching bands.
The trailers will also host the “orchestra” for a nightly ballroom where visitors and residents of London are invited to dress up and dance for nights of tango, Viennese waltzes, victory jives, and Scottish reels and jigs.
A Palm Court orchestra will accompany afternoon tea each weekend.
ROAD SHOW will host daily parades including marching bands, carnival, cyclists and horses. And over the two weekends of the Festival, early morning spinning, tai chi, yoga, qigong and other forms of exercise will see some of the world‟s most successful proponents of these forms take a mass class on the Road.
Artists explore the link between art and science
Artists commissioned to create new work for the festival include Katie Paterson, one of the UK‟s leading emerging young visual artists with work that blends art and science; exploring landscape, space and time, using technology to bring together the commonplace and the cosmic; Graeme Miller, a theatre maker, composer and artist emerging from the bold and influential stage work of Impact Theatre Co-operative in the 1980s, embraces a wide range of media. With the idea of being „a composer of many things that may include music‟, he has made theatre, dance, installations and interventions; Tomas Libertiny’s most recent work has focused on creating sculpture with living bees to explore the relationship between natural and man-made production systems.
Road Games (for the Games)
Games are not just for the fleet of foot. Games tables set up on the Road featuring board games from the V&A‟s collections from the 18th century to the present day will give everyone the opportunity to exercise their mind, and physical games will give participants the opportunity to play and practice new skills.
Road of Wonder
Specially commissioned acrobatic work and dance will use the new road space and the architecture of Exhibition Road. A breathtaking aerial acrobatics display has been commissioned for the façade of Imperial College London and a resident troupe of dancers and acrobats – The Exhibitionists – will dance and tumble their way the length and breadth of the Festival site.
The Royal Borough has invited a number of writers to write short stories featuring Exhibition Road. Authors include Deborah Levy, Kamila Shamsie, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Russell Hoban, Ali Smith and Michelle Faber – 12 in total. The stories will be read live by the authors during the Festival at selected locations, as well as being published in a special edition on sale during and after the event.