Hip-hop storytelling, local dance battles, mindful art workshops and family fun days are just some of the highlights of the Your Stratford Stage event series hosted by International Quarter London (IQL), the new neighbourhood destination and business district located next to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Free to attend, and running throughout May 2019, the diverse programme of music, theatre and dance performances, spoken word events, arts workshops and family activities celebrates East London’s creativity and multicultural talent. Your Stratford Stage is the first in a series of curated events taking place across IQL in Summer 2019, with Endeavour Square, the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, transformed into a public stage for Stratford.
Hosted by Lendlease and LCR, Your Stratford Stage showcases some of the best local talent from across the worlds of dance, theatre, music, arts and literature. The exciting line-up caters for all ages and abilities and unites well-known organisations from the UK cultural sector with an inspiring mix of independent artists and performers.
Your Stratford Stage launched on 16 May with an open party at Endeavour Square, IQL and a performance from London Afrobeat Collective, among other acts, and concludes with two Half Term Family Days on 28 and 29 May.
The programme includes:
Thursday 23 May
As part of its Music Academy, Creative Wick, the regeneration agency for Hackney Wick, Fish Island and wider East London, has invited professional musicians, writers and producers to collaborate with a local youth group to produce new sounds for live performance on 23 May.
Friday 24 May
Stratford Circus Arts Centre’s in-house youth choir, NewYVC will perform everything from gospel and soul to the latest pop and R&B hits. Visitors to IQL can also catch two other acts including the E15 Jazz Band on 24 May, and The Flying Bazazi Brothers on 29 May.
Saturday 25 May
East London music showcase presented by Sound Diplomacy.
Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 May – Half Term family days
The British Council is due to move its global headquarters to Stratford in 2020 and has invited award-winning African hip-hop storyteller, Alim Kamara, to perform on the 28 MayFamily Day. The artist’s love for the performing arts was developed through his formative years by emulating Michael Jackson’s dance moves and playing lead roles in school plays. As part of the British Council showcase, Kamara will be joined by Discover Children’s Story Centre to deliver a storytelling session of Tom Percival’s book Perfectly Normal.
Family-friendly entertainment on 28 and 29 May include a series of dance activities and performances from Dance Cluster East partners including Sadler’s Wells, Company Wayne McGregor and East London Dance.
Sadler’s Wells will present Candoco Dance Company’s You and I Know, a romantic duet by Arlene Phillips told through a series of vignettes set across time, on 28 May. Danced with passion and sensitivity by Candoco dancers Joel Brown and Laura Patay, the piece is a collection of pop songs, and offers audiences a potent and emotive exploration of how we fall in and out of love over and over again, often with the same person.
On 28 and 29 May, Here East-based Company Wayne McGregor, a world-class ensemble of dancers and resident company of Sadler’s Wells, will perform excerpts from Autobiography by British choreographer and director Wayne McGregor. Inspired by McGregor's own DNA and 25-year choreographic archive, Autobiography features music by US electronic composer Jlin, and costumes by designer Aitor Throup.
West Ham-based Rosetta Arts has partnered with local artists Sabba Khan and Aisha Naim for its showcase on 28 and 29 May. Khan will perform spoken word on the theme of motherhood and love, while Naim will deliver two mindful art taster workshops.
East London Dance brings together a variety of performances and demonstrations on 28 and 29 May. These range from mini dance battles and open freestyling led by New Movementz, to all-female hip-hop dance from Myself UK, and Latin American ballroom dance class from Step Change Studios.
For more information on the full Your Stratford Stage programme and event registration, please visit www.internationalquarter.london/whats-on/events. Your Stratford Stage runs throughout May 2019, and all events are free to attend.
Address: Endeavour Square, International Quarter London, E20 1EJ
East London Dance at Your Stratford Stage (Photo © Rory James)