This week Hijinx announced a line up of inclusive and disability artists from the UK, Europe and Africa who will come to perform at Hijinx Unity Festival in Cardiff from 1-5 July 2015.
Jaw-dropping circus, roaming theatre shows, trapeze artists, dancers and musicians will fill the streets of Cardiff this July in a celebration of the best inclusive and disability arts from around the world.
Performers from Mozambique, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the UK will perform in Hijinx Unity Festival from 1-5 July in Cardiff’s vibrant City Centre and at the prestigious Wales Millennium Centre.
Hijinx Unity Festival is created by Welsh theatre company Hijinx to give a high profile platform to stunning work made by disabled and non-disabled artists working together as equals.
Through a high quality programme of performing arts, the Festival promotes positive images of disability and social inclusion to audiences and has grown to attract over 10,000 visitors a time since its creation in 2008.
Highlights of the 2015 line up include a weekend of free performances on The Hayes, Cardiff City Centre on 4-5 July. Much of the Hayes including Tabernacl church will be transformed into an eye-catching performance space, with more pop up venues in Royal & Morgan Arcade and St Davids II.
Headlining the weekend are dare-devil French circus artists Cirque Inextremiste with a breath-taking balancing act above the Hayes. They will be joined by German theatre company Blaumeier-Atelier, puppetry theatre specialists About Face Theatre, Seville-based dance company Danza Mobile, visually impaired trapeze artist Amelia Cavallo and Hijinx’s own pop-up theatre shows ‘The Pods’, to name but a few acts. Internationally renowned dancer, Marc Brew, and his company will perform a dance piece set on a deserted island made from six tonnes of sand.
The Festival also offers a ticketed programme of work at Wales Millennium Centre from 1-5 July, including hard-hitting dance from Mozambican artist Panaibra Canda, spell-binding dance theatre from Italian company Teatro la Ribalta, physical theatre from Belgian company Theater Stap and Cirque Inextremiste’s new show Extension in which one performer trades in his wheelchair for a mini-digger.
OPENING THE FESTIVAL: HIJINX AND PUNCHDRUNK ENRICHMENT COLLABORATION
Hijinx Unity Festival will be launched by an enthralling, immersive theatre show created in collaboration by Hijinx and Punchdrunk Enrichment which will take place in a secret location within Cardiff. Featuring a large cast of disabled and non-disabled actors, it is a sequel to Beneath the Streets which had a sell-out run in 2014 and was recently nominated for Best Production in the English Language at the Wales Theatre Awards. The performance will run from 26 Jun to 3 July, overlapping with the first three days of the Festival.
This year for the first time the Festival includes a Schools’ Day for Year 6 and 7 pupils focussed on inclusive performance, to inspire the next generation about the abilities of people who live with a disability. The day has been generously supported by Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust.
Thanks to funding from Welsh Assembly Government’s Major Events Unit and the Arts Council of Wales, this year’s festival sees more international companies performing than ever before and in a more visible location right in the heart of the City Centre, giving people who have never seen inclusive and disability arts the chance to enjoy them.
Ben Pettitt-Wade, Hijinx’s Artistic Director commented: I am hugely excited about this year’s festival which is our most ambitious yet in terms of the variety of locations we are using, from the City’s main shopping streets to disused buildings, Wales Millennium Centre to a church vestry! It is also a year of firsts: the first year we will present a free performance programme in the City Centre, the first year we will welcome an inclusive performance from Africa and the first time we are creating a dedicated activity and picnic area for families and other festival-goers to enjoy.
Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Wales said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hijinx on Wales’ only inclusive arts festival. This unique Festival celebrates the best in international inclusive theatre. This thought-provoking festival will offer new and exciting ways of enjoying a range of arts experiences. Featuring some exceptional people, with and without learning disabilities, the Unity Festival shows the excitement, innovation and fun that we can all have when we forget what separates us and remember what unites us.”
Louise Miles-Crust from Wales Millennium Centre commented: We are thrilled to be working with Hijinx on the eighth Hijinx Unity Festival. The line up of international acts visiting the Centre is once again of an outstanding quality. I’m especially excited to see Cirque Inextremiste returning to the Centre with their new show, as well as the powerful performance of ‘Borderlines’ from Mozambican artist Panaibra Canda, who is making his Welsh debut at the Centre.
This year for the third time, Hijinx Unity Festival will form part of Cardiff Festival, a programme of city-wide events and festivals taking place over the summer months. Councillor Peter Bradbury, Cabinet Member for Community Development, Co-operatives and Social Enterprise said; “Each year Cardiff Festival strives to deliver a diverse range of events for people of all ages, celebrating the best in culture, sport and family entertainment -all taking place in Wales’s capital city. The summer will welcome back some firm favourites on the city’s calendar, attracting many residents and visitors alike. I am delighted that Hijinx Unity Festival will be returning again this year and I can’t wait to see what spectacles they will bring to the celebration.”
Tickets are on sale now and are available from Wales Millennium Centre on 02920 636464 and at wmc.org.uk.
For the full programme and more information on the Festival including information on accessibility, see www.hijinxunity.org.uk.