International Youth Arts Festival
Kingston-Upon-Thames will be a buzzing centre for young artists over the coming month when the International Youth Arts Festival takes residence from June 29 to July 22
Featuring 18 days of live performance, art shows and other youth activities, it’s a truly international celebration with more than 20% of this year’s performers visiting from abroad.
The IYAF is put together by Kingston-based arts organisation Creative Youth, who have consistently supported a number of young companies within the festival. Their Artistic Director Aniela Zaba said:
“This year there will be over 350 events across 15 venues and an anticipated 8000 participants – if you’d have told me those figures when we set up IYAF in 2009 I would never have believed it!
“Importantly, IYAF showcases the highest quality of young people’s work and really does challenge the notion that youth arts should be tolerated and not celebrated.”
Three events in the festival will form part of the Cultural Olympiad, tying in with the London 2012 Festival which commenced on June 21.
One of these is Bodies in Motion, presented by Kingston University Collegiate Music. It features three different performances from three different countries – the UK, the USA and the Netherlands – broadcast online at the same time. All of the performances will include the work of student composers. It’s on at the Rose Theatre on July 9, July 10 and July 12.
The other two Cultural Olympiad events are dance and projection collaboration Illumination on July 14 at Dorich House Museum and The Mayor of London’s outdoor performance day, Showtime, on July 21.
There is far too much happening and we really recommend checking out the full programme on the festival website, but some of the highlights are:
- The National Youth Music Theatre’s The Dreaming, which will have a Royal Gala Performance on July 17. Attendees will include HRH The Earl of Wessex and some of the Festival’s celebrity patrons such as Matt Lucas.
- Choreographers from prestigious dance companies Rambert, Sakoba Dance and Ballet Boyz, giving dance workshops. The sessions will culminate in a 10-minute production presented at the IYAF’s dance showcase, Kinetic Visions, at the Rose on July 14.
- Chipstead Players bring UK playwright Simon Stephens’ truly shocking examination of school life, Punk Rock, to the Rose from July 16 to 18.
- A carnival heads through Market Place and Clarence Street on July 8, filling the streets with fantastic percussion, colours, costumes and puppets. Artists from leading carnival companies will be leading workshops in the previous week to create the costumes for the carnival.
- Circus Suburbia represent the art of the big top in their show Redefining Space. Creative Youth received funding to convert the car park of Bishop’s Place House into a semi-permanent performance space dubbed Space @ Riverside. Circus Suburbia will perform there on July 7 and 8, giving a preview of things to come at this new Kingston venue.
- Farewell My Concubine is a chance to see Wushu martial arts performance from Malaysia. Lee Wushu Arts Theatre tell this classic Chinese story by combining martial arts with traditional theatre. They perform at the Rose on July 16, 19 and 21.
- The Birdies Film Festival, which was founded by students and graduates of Kingston University last year. It is a showcase of short films from young people from across the globe. A screening gala and awards ceremony will take place on July 12 at the Kingston Odeon.
To book tickets and see the full programme of events which includes theatre, dance, music, visual art, film, comedy, poetry, fashion and more visit: iyafestival.org.uk