GDIF is a founder member of Without Walls, an Arts Council funded consortium of leading festivals dedicated to the development and touring of new and exciting outdoor work. Behind the scenes, artists, performers, designers, producers and technicians have been hard at work developing some tantalising new projects, which will all be shown as part of this year’s Festival.
GDIF is very excited to be co-commissioning Metro Boulot Dodo’s new large scale storytelling adventure with a fusion of digital imagery and aerial choreography coming together on an ingeniously designed larger-than-life house; Marc Brew’s eagerly anticipated new production which takes place on a 7 tonne island of sand; and Tiata Fahodzi’s contemporary African physical theatre parable “The Legend of Hamba”, which had a recent very successful research and development week at Diorama Arts.
Alongside these co-commissioned projects GDIF will also be presenting other new Without Walls productions by Acrojou, Wet Picnic, Nuno Silva and Ramshacklicious. Over the course of GDIF’s opening weekend, you’ll be able to see all seven of these new Without Walls productions for 2014, so don’t miss this great opportunity!
On Saturday 1 March the eyes of the world were on Stoke Mandeville, as a spectacular ceremony (created and produced by GDIF) lit the first-ever Paralympic Heritage Flame.
Broadcast live on Channel 4, the Ceremony saw the Paralympic Heritage Flame lit by gold medal winning wheelchair racing athlete Hannah Cockcroft from the centre of an extraordinarily beautiful 6m diameter, Armillary Sphere (a model of stars and planets in the sky). Created by internationally acclaimed theatre designer Jon Bausor the illumination of the flame was accompanied by specially commissioned music by Dan Jones and pyrotechnics from Alchemy.
Photo by Doug Southall
As part of the Ceremony two new films were shown:
Mike Christie’s “I am the Flame” telling the inspiring story of Stoke Mandeville, whilst Rachel Gadsden and Abigail Norris looked to Greek myth in an animation recounting the legend of the god Hephaestus.
GDIF is enormously grateful to Sir Ian McKellen who took time out from a busy schedule to narrate both of these films.
Photo by Doug Southall
A day later on Saturday 2 March, GDIF created a second event “Spirit in Motion” at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury, telling the story of Stoke Mandeville and bringing together artists and Paralympians in a celebration of sport and the arts. Hosted by actor Ben Owen-Jones, audiences were treated to a unique aerial performance by circus artists from the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, whilst Rachel Gadsden brought the Paralympic motto of “spirit in motion” to life on canvas. There were also performances from Denise Leigh and Andrea Begley whilst guest speakers included Chris Holmes, Jenny Sealey, Naomi Riches and Sally Haynes.