A world of mu­sic and dance lights up the town

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

A RIOT of colour and dance passed through a town cen­tre to mark the open­ing of the 53rd Billing­ham In­ter­na­tional Folk­lore Fes­ti­val.

The an­nual fes­ti­val kicked off on Satur­day with the Pa­rade of Na­tions in which dancers from around the globe wear tra­di­tional dress and per­form tra­di­tional dance as they pa­rade through the streets of Billing­ham.

Hun­dreds lined the route, or watched from Billing­ham Town Cen­tre’s raised walk­ways, as the pa­rade made its way to­wards the Fes­ti­val Arena, which will be the fo­cus of dance and fes­tiv­i­ties for the next week.

Dancers from as far afield as Chile, Ghana and Hun­gary joined the spec­ta­cle which got un­der way half an hour later than ex­pected due to spo­radic show­ers.

The fes­ti­val has been a part of the an­nual cal­en­dar in Billing­ham for more than 50 years and fea­tures pa­rades, songs and per­for­mances, ex­hi­bi­tions and work­shops from dance com­pa­nies around the world. Chil­dren’s clubs and dance work­shops were also tak­ing place through­out the week.

Venues around Billing­ham in­clude the fes­ti­val arena in the town cen­tre, the Fo­rum and Billing­ham band­stand.

There will also be a per­for­mance at St Barn­abas Church, Linthorpe.

There will be per­for­mances and con­certs ev­ery day un­til the fes­ti­val closes on Sun­day with an ice-skat­ing, dance and mu­sic spec­tac­u­lar - Pea­cock Lake at the Fo­rum Ice Arena.

A mod­ern take on Tchaikovsky’s clas­sic bal­let Swan Lake, Pea­cock Lake gets its world pre­miere at the fes­ti­val and prom­ises “ice meets spice”.

Per­form­ers from 14 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the UK, are tak­ing part, bring­ing tra­di­tional dance styles and much more from the likes of Chile, Colom­bia, Egypt, Hun­gary, New Zealand, South Africa and more. For the first time, dance groups from Tahiti and Guinea-Bis­sau are tak­ing part.

Some per­for­mances are free, oth­ers re­quire tick­ets which vary in price from £1 to £18. Visit www.billing­ham­fes­ti­val. co.uk for de­tails.

The event brings a riot of colour to the town

The week in­cludes many eye-catch­ing per­for­mances

Per­form­ers come from around the world

Crowds en­joy­ing the fes­ti­val

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