MDI Merseyside Dance Initiative
Inspiring people through dance
Monday, March 19, 2018

MDI Leaps Into Spring with Funding Success

The power to bring about change is what has inspired MDI to produce the Leap Dance Festival in 2018 as it not only celebrates 25 years since MDI was established but also 10 years since Liverpool was European City of Culture and commemorates 100 years since women won the right to vote! The theme for the festival will be Suffrage exploring how working together to make a difference can be empowering, influencing the content of the programme.  As a team and talking to colleagues in the City we have been debating the concept of Suffrage and through that, considering what it means to be democratic and how the idea of ‘people power’ creates a stimulus for creating new work. In addition the festival will also present works that respond to the theme that are already part of the UK touring circuit.

Taking place in autumn 2018 in Liverpool, the festival programme will be fully confirmed in May but will include up to 14 dance artists/companies presenting work not seen in Liverpool before. We will support 2 new commissions by regionally based artists, and create a nationally significant conference with HE institutions, led by Liverpool Hope University. With diversity a constant throughout our programming we will host a number of panel discussions debating strong black women in dance; socially engaged practice; and hand over a number of days to our local communities, local artists and young people to take over and programme aspects of the festival themselves. Building up to the event we will be engaging with local people through workshops and paving events to profile the festival and build new audiences.

As Karen Gallagher, MBE, Artistic Director says:
“MDI needs to place its efforts on an area of its programme that will drive forward new opportunities and re-position the organisation to embrace an exciting new future.
Leap is unique both in Liverpool and NW as it’s the only festival in the region dedicated to programming contemporary dance. Focussing on LEAP and becoming a festival organisation will redefine the parameters of the organisation, create a more specific offer for artists and audiences, generate clarity for partners and a narrative that all will support knowing it brings a focus to the dance programme in the Liverpool city region”.