Liberty takes to the air again


London’s Liberty disability arts festival is set to bring aerial dance, moving beds, Fisher Price tape decks and a water garden to Trafalgar Square on Saturday 5 September.

The free festival – attended last year by 20,000 people – will feature five different zones: music; street arts; comedy, cabaret and spoken word; visual arts; and children’s arts.

The street arts section includes a new version of Nocturne, by Marc Brew Company, following an acclaimed performance of the piece – which includes four dancers and two moving beds – at this year’s Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.

Blue Eyed Soul will perform their new dance piece, Take, on a dome-shaped aerial rig on the northern terrace of Trafalgar Square.

The performance will feature audio description, touch tours and an opportunity to meet the dancers.

There will also be workshops, with an introduction to the dome rig and training in basic aerial dance principles.

StopGAP Dance Company will perform their new piece, Tracking, which examines London and Britishness using sporting references and imagery, and was originally commissioned by Shape as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Music includes performances from Spaceships are Cool, fresh from taking their “sci-fi sunshine pop” – using instruments such as glockenspiels, toy phones and Fisher Price tape decks – to the Glastonbury festival; soprano Denise Leigh, accompanied by an accordionist; and “soulful jazz and R ’n’ B classics” from Minika Green and her band.

The comedy, cabaret and spoken word section includes appearances from Mat Fraser, Gareth Berliner, Steve Day, Liz Bentley, Liz Carr and Penny Pepper.

The visual arts section will include workshops by visually-impaired artist Terry Hopwood Jackson, and Liquid London, a programme of painting workshops inspired by the Thames.

There will also be performances of Extant’s Obscurity, which uses sound, interactive audio description, music from Baluji Srivastav, navigation and visual art from Sally Booth.

 The children’s arts section, curated by Emergency Exit Arts, will see disabled and Deaf artists create a water garden, with roaming performers and storytelling.

The festival, from 1pm to 6pm, is designed to be accessible and includes BSL interpretation, subtitles, a wheelchair loan service, induction loops at information points, and programmes in different formats.

There is some free parking near Trafalgar Square for blue badge holders if booked in advance by emailing

3 August 2009


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