At 1pm on 18 May 2012 – the day the Olympic Torch arrives in the UK – thousands of schoolchildren in the UK and across the world will join together to take part in a world-record breaking dance, created especially for them by Wayne McGregor CBE with an original score, Céleste, by Scanner and Joel Cadbury. The Record Attempt is a worldwide warm-up for Big Dance 2012, which is to run from 7-15 July 2012 and is part of the London 2012 Festival.
With the support of the British Council, the dance will take place simultaneously in over 1,000 schools throughout the UK and across Europe, USA, South America, South-East Asia, the Middle East and the Far East. Each school will learn the same piece of choreography created by Wayne McGregor which is available to download from the Big Dance website now from the Schools and Teachers section at:
The current world record for the largest simultaneous multi venue dance is held by the Netherlands, with 1,472 locations and 264,188 people dancing.
Big Dance is one of the world’s biggest and most influential dance festivals, and this year it is one of the highlights of London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. In 2012, there will be events across the whole country, building up to Big Dance Week from 7 – 15 July.
The programme will feature dance in the streets, in theatres and schools and right into the heart of communities all over the country. The UK’s leading choreographers are taking part, including Wayne McGregor, who will create the centrepiece of Big Dance: a mass dance for over 1,000 dancers in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 14 July. Channel 4 will broadcast a series of specially commissioned new films made in partnership with BAFTA and Big Dance, showcasing young choreographic and directing talent.
Big Dance in London has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. The programme is delivered by the Mayor of London, Arts Council England and Foundation for Community Dance with a network of Big Dance Hubs, leading dance organisations around the UK.
Jacqueline Rose, Director of Big Dance 2012, said: “The global response to the Big Dance Record Attempt emphasises the power of dance as an artform to communicate and how it can unite communities. For the dancers and spectators, 1pm on 18th May will be the moment that everyone will be expressing their creativity through movement that crosses all cultural boundaries.”
Wayne McGregor CBE said: “The Schools Pledge is a fantastic and fun opportunity for young people of all ages to learn a new dance inspired by the Olympics and to perform it as part of our world record attempt. On the day the Olympic Torch arrives in the UK, young dancers throughout Britain and in our partner countries worldwide will share a unique moment in time, dancing together and in unison, sharing our passion for the art form we love. Everyone, take up the challenge, learn the dance, teach it to your friends, your class and your school and on Friday May 18th be a world record breaker!”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Not everyone can compete at the Games, but we want as many people in London and across the world as possible to feel a part of this incredible year. I’m delighted to support Big Dance, which is already hugely popular in the capital and a fantastic way to join in the 2012 celebrations. Even if the youngsters taking part in this exciting event won’t be competing for medals, it is a unique chance to aim for a new world record, which I hope will inspire them to participate long after the Games are over.”
Moira Sinclair, London Executive Director of Arts Council England, said: “This is our first glimpse of Big Dance 2012 and a world record would be an incredible start to its Olympic celebrations. Dance is a universal language and brings joy to millions, so it seems apt to have thousands of people across continents uniting through the work of one of our finest choreographers.”
Moira Swinbank OBE, Chief Executive Legacy Trust UK said that “Big Dance has already led the way in opening up dance for everyone, and this record attempt is a fantastic way to welcome the Olympic Torch to the UK and get people across the globe dancing. Legacy Trust UK is delighted to be supporting Big Dance and will continue to work with Big Dance partners to ensure that the programme leaves a lasting legacy for everyone involved.”