IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2012 has announced selected highlights from its artistic programme and news about its collaboration with the London 2012 Festival.
Following the success of the first Festival in 2010, IF: 2012 is produced by The Stables and supported by Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council and will present 10 amazing days of a world-class, multi-arts programme in Milton Keynes between Friday 20 and Sunday 29 July 2012.
Developed by the same artistic team that created IF: 2010, including Bill Gee as Creative Producer, IF: 2012 will reflect the Olympic and Paralympic values of friendship, respect, excellence, determination, courage, equality and inspiration.
The Festival will take place in public spaces and unusual locations in Central Milton Keynes, with Campbell Park retaining its ‘Festival Central’ focus. The Opening Event for the Festival will this time run over three nights and will feature French fire alchemists Compagnie Carabosse (www.ciecarabosse.fr) who will fan the flames of our imaginations with a breathtaking large-scale alfresco transformation using fire, flames, music and sound.
Carabosse have staged their striking installations across the world, with dancing fire sculptures, flaming fire pots and cascades of candles – this event in Milton Keynes will be one of their largest yet and is set to bring over 25,000 people to Campbell Park for a truly memorable experience for all the family.
An unusual sight will greet shoppers at thecentre:mk on the morning of Friday 20 July . . . a very special boat will be moored in the middle of the city centre shopping complex – just about the furthest point from the sea in the UK! The Boat Project is one of the UK’s lead public art commissions to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. IF: 2012 has joined forces with creators Lone Twin to bring this unique 30ft sailing boat, made from wood donated by people from Milton Keynes and across the South East, to the city. Each piece of wood has a special meaning or story, making the boat a living archive of our lives.
Campbell Park will see the return of the highly decorated and atmospheric Belgian mirror tent - The Spiegeltent – described as the beating heart of the 2010 Festival, which will again play host to the best in live music, comedy and cabaret.
A Big Top, also in the Park, will present a series of international performance-based shows, including the UK premiere of ‘Rouge’ presented by Cambodian company The Phare Ponleu Selpak (www.phareps.org). ‘Rouge’ is a thought-provoking and powerful production that blends dramatic dance and daring circus arts. IF: 2012 is pleased to announce that ‘Rouge’ in Milton Keynes forms part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June and running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.
Festival Director and Chief Executive of The Stables, Monica Ferguson, said: “Producing a second Festival after the success of the first in 2010 is somewhat like making a second album to follow on after a hit record – not easy, but an incredibly exciting challenge and I’m delighted that IF: 2012 is shaping up to be even bigger and better than we could have expected. We will be able to announce the full programme in May, though are pleased to be able to share some highlights today. 2012 is an important and momentous year for the UK and we look forward to increasing the city’s profile by placing Milton Keynes even more centrally on the world’s cultural stage through the Festival’s association with London 2012.”
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said: “The Milton Keynes International Festival is an amazing achievement, showing the world the international ambition of Milton Keynes. London 2012 Festival is proud to join in the UK premiere of Rouge showcasing artists from Cambodia.”