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25 - 28 June 2009
"Ambitious and free" The Sunday Times
This year’s Greenwich+Docklands International Festival provided a “tour de force” showcase of UK and international outdoor arts at their very best. Estimated audiences of 50,000 over the four days were swept up in the GDIF experience, whilst a new thematic approach featuring a series of outstanding new commissions and UK premieres helped strengthen the Festival’s increasingly distinctive local personality.
In a new initiative for 2009, the Festival launched the first of a series of themed festivals designed to “tell the story” of Greenwich and Docklands in the approach to 2012. Water connected Festival events across Greenwich and Docklands, providing greater artistic cohesion across the Festival and a succession of captivating theatre experiences. These included Pi-Leau, a street theatre extravaganza in Woolwich which took audiences into an underwater world; Against the Tide which imagined a future world without water; Obscurity which took audiences on an interactive philosophical exploration of water at the Peter Harrison Planetarium; and Water Music which provided a spectacular and highly contemporary response to the River Thames in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum.
This year’s Festival also took to the water more literally with Fous de Bassin, a stunning outdoor spectacle on the Millwall Outer Dock created by the French company Ilotopie, which saw lamp-posts, cars, caravans, a bed and a giant penny farthing bicycle floating into view. At the same time the Festival received huge amounts of positive audience feedback following the launch of its New Outdoor Horizons initiative, showcasing and commissioning a range of extraordinary outdoor work from leading Deaf and disabled artists.
2009 has also been a particularly successful year in respect of national and regional media recognition with coverage in The Guardian, Sunday Times, Evening Standard, Metro, Time Out, ITV News, The London Paper, The Wharf, Greenwich Time, East End Life, South London Press, BBC London and many more
Above all though, audience feedback has been fabulous with feedback cards pouring in – a small selection here gives an indication of the enthusiastic response:
"4 magical days – a fantastic time!"
"One of the best street theatre performances I’ve seen. I wish this could happen in London more often"
"A superb show again this year – we are never disappointed"
"Stumbled on this performance and was moved to tears by its beauty and generosity"
"Each year the Festival gets better and better"
"Inspirational and jaw droppingly beautiful to watch"
"This was my favourite event. I loved the fact that it was in BSL with such a diverse cast"
"Outstanding, stunning. The most creative event I have ever seen"
"5 star! Poetic, local international... congratulations to the inspired team"
"Another fantastic event in another really interesting location"
"It created an atmosphere of community.... The local youth were fascinated and it brought people together."
"It made me feel it was a joy to live in London"
"Please continue with this Festival. It is awesome."
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