Sport and dance collide in At Your Leisure

Sport and dance collide in At Your Leisure - a unique new festival featuring international dance artists reimagining sporting events in venues across Edinburgh and East Lothian

Audiences are invited to watch, play, dance and get a taste of a range of sports and performance styles during participatory workshops.

At Your Leisure aims to re-imagine recreation by bringing together leading dance artists from around Europe to showcase performances inspired by sports activities. Between 29 October and 3 November festival-goers will also have the opportunity to try out these sporting activities in a fun and friendly atmosphere after the performances. The result is a festival that redefines the meaning of the term ‘performance sport’ transforming football pitches, gym halls, climbing centres and swimming pools into performance spaces.

At Your Leisure is has been curated and co-produced by a panel of Young Festival Producers and East Lothian based Room 2 Manoeuvre, in consultation with youth groups. The event is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

With a public and schools programme, shows include; La Partida (The Match) from Spanish company taking place at the Penny Pit Football Grounds in Prestonpans which sheds a new light on the beautiful game, The Gentle Way at North Berwick Leisure Centre from Austrian based Hungry Sharks which takes hold of Judo as its inspiration and The Boulderers from Kapow Theatre a dance/circus/climbing performance for schools audiences at the newly opened Loanhead Climbing Centre, Eden Rock. Special daytime performances will take place for school-goers in East Lothian while the wider public can attend the evening performances.

These are just a handful of the 20+ events that make up this year’s festival which is part of the Year of Young People 2018. At Your Leisure will culminate in a final sports dance day at Musselburgh Leisure Centre where sports and dance enthusiasts of all ages can do taster sessions in everything from street dance to table tennis.

Festival Co-ordinator Anthony Mills said; “Sport inspires millions whether it’s watching or playing. The hours of practice, the thrill of performing and playing in front those watching. It is the same for dance and when dance artists take their unique vision and apply it to sport it makes us see the sports we know in a whole new light. Working with young people in East Lothian and Edinburgh we sought the artists making the most exciting sports related shows around the world today. By performing in unusual spaces they bring dance to a wider audience that appreciates physical performance in a different way. In combining a programme of performances, workshops and taster sessions, At Your Leisure is a festival that blurs the boundaries between play and performance.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting At Your Leisure as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations. The programme presents young people with such a broad range of activities to get involved in. It is an incredible opportunity for young people to express themselves through dance and sport and to showcase their unique talents and skills. It is great to see that young people have been at the heart of the design from the beginning. The resulting international co-production between Scotland’s young people and the incredible dance companies involved further reinforces Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”

Paul Burns, Interim Head of Dance, Creative Scotland said: “At Your Leisure is a really brilliant way of getting young people involved in both dance and sport in unexpected ways. With performances happening in sports venues across East Lothian, and a huge range of activities to take part in, it gives opportunities for everyone to take part, learn new skills and be inspired.”

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Photo credit: Eloi Teixido

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