BBC Arts Announces the Line up for #DancePassion

12 Mar 2019

#DancePassion, is a dance festival being organised by BBC Arts in collaboration with One Dance UK, along with leading names and exciting new talent.  It is Aimed at ‘those who love dance as well as those who don’t yet know they love dance’, #DancePassion will run across television, radio and online on the BBC from Sunday 31 March to Saturday 6 April, with a live streaming day on Friday 5 April.

Andrew Hurst, Chief Executive Officer of One Dance UK said: “We are delighted to partner with the BBC to promote the very first #DancePassion and launch this exciting national celebration of dance, showcasing the cutting-edge creativity, artistry, and talent leading the way in dance in the UK today.”

#DancePassion Highlights 

  • Dancers rigged to 3D motion tracking bodysuits will show how science is pushing the boundaries of choreography as part of an unprecedented celebration of the UK’s dance scene, which will also include exclusive rehearsals and insights from some of the country’s leading practitioners.
  • A #DancePassion live streaming day featuring 11 hours of performance, rehearsals and behind the scenes insights from across the UK.
  • Organisations to use the BBC’s dance archive in innovative ways to tell compelling dance stories.

A week-long focus on dance across television, radio and online including performances of Giselle and Atomos on BBC Four, Sound of Dance on BBC Radio 3 and dance specials on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music.

Jonty Claypole Director, BBC Arts said: “Dance truly is a powerful and transformative art form. I’m thrilled that we’re working with One Dance UK and the whole sector to demonstrate exactly why this country is a world leader in dance. #DancePassion is for audiences who love dance as well as for those who don’t yet know they love dance. Whether it’s ballet, bhangra or ballroom – at one of our ‘hubs’ or at home – this week aims to get the whole nation moving in a celebration of dance.”

#DancePassion Live Streaming

As part of the live streaming day on Friday 5 April, the science of dance will take centre stage as Birmingham Royal Ballet conduct live experiments to demonstrate how 3D motion tracking is being used to push boundaries in choreography as well as protect dancers from injury. New research into how dancing can improve bone density will also be revealed.

There will be exclusive rehearsals and insights from some of the country’s leading practitioners including Akram Khan Company, Candoco Dance Company, Company Wayne McGregor, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, National Dance Company Wales, Möbius Dance, Northern Ballet and Kenneth Tindall, Rambert, Rosie Kay Dance Company and Viviana Durante Company. 

Audiences will be given a front row seat to English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet as they gear up for performances that evening at Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal Glasgow respectively, while DanceXchange, English Folk Dance and Song Society, Maiden Voyage Dance, Motionhouse, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and ZooNation Youth Company Birmingham will all show audiences why the UK’s dance sector is the best in the world.

Dance from all four UK nations 

Involving the four UK nations, dancers, independent artists and choreographers will take part in live broadcasts from dance ‘hubs’ located in Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds, London and Swansea, presented by Dr Ranj Singh, Katie Thistleton, Brenda Emmanus, Connie Fisher, Rebecca Jones and Marie-Louise Muir. Additional live streams will come directly from companies themselves: Scottish Ballet will be in Glasgow to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and Rambert will bring audiences exclusive behind the scenes access to the full range of their work, featuring leading French choreographer Marion Motin.

Other exciting content will include choreographer Nathan Geering demonstrating how b-boying and b-girling (breakdancing) for the visually impaired is being used as a means of injury prevention and to improve spatial awareness. Rising talent will be showcased through streamed performances from dancers from the National Youth Dance Company and Yuva Gati, the Centre for Advanced Training National South Asian dance programme alongside a number of community dance groups from across the country including ACE Dance & Music in Birmingham as well as Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL) and RJC Dance in Leeds.

Ahead of the centenary of Merce Cunningham’s birth, the Barbican will Iivestream Not A Moment Too Soon as Trevor Carlson, close friend and Executive Director to Cunningham, reflects on the 12 years he spent as a companion to the choreographer, offering a rare insight into the final days of a master.

And to mark its 40th anniversary, Akademi will make available its performance of The Troth, a gripping wartime story of love and loss, told through powerful dance theatre. The Troth was commissioned by The Space.

Dance on Television and Radio 

#DancePassion will be celebrated in dedicated programming across the BBC between 31 March and 6 April. TV programming will feature recent critically acclaimed performances of English National Ballet and Akram Khan’s Giselle and Company Wayne McGregor’s Atomos, both The Space commissions for BBC Arts which will be broadcast on BBC Four. BBC Four will also present an Arena special with a film featuring the English Morris Dancing tradition. Stopgap Dance Company’s film Artificial Things directed by Sophie Fiennes will be available on BBC iPlayer. The film explores human interdependence, strength, and vulnerability, featuring an ensemble of disabled and non-disabled dancers and is also a The Space commission for BBC Arts.

BBC Radio 3’s Sound of Dance presented by Katie Derham will return to coincide with #DancePassion and In Tune will have a themed programme focusing on the relationship between music and dance presented by Sean Rafferty. Mary Anne Hobbs’ show on BBC Radio 6 Music will be a #DancePassion-themed special. BBC Radio 4’s Front Row interviews Carlos Acosta about his forthcoming biographical film Yuli and his new role as Director at Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Following on from Radio 2’s Longest Ever Danceathon featuring Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly in aid of Comic Relief, in which the whole network is going to be given over to dance for more than 24 hours on 11 and 12 March, there will be another chance to hear BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night a dance themed edition presented by Strictly Come Dancing’s Head Judge and Queen of Latin Shirley Ballas as she shimmies, shuffles, spins and chassés us through a selection of her favourite music with Strictly stars Joe McFadden and Joanne Clifton.
BBC Sounds will also feature special #DancePassion inspired music mixes to get the whole nation moving.


The BBC Rewind and Archive editorial teams are working with dance organisations on a new storytelling platform, Canvas. Combining organisations’ expertise with the BBC’s archive, stories will include the history of Black Dance in Britain from One Dance UK; the dancer and choreographer Mona Inglesby from New Works Ballet Theatre; the story of the 51st Reel from Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and the history of Scottish Ballet.