A dazzling dance performance that will form the backdrop to an illuminated peloton of cyclists is being perfected in Leeds.
A team of 10 professional dancers from Quarry Hill-based Phoenix Dance Theatre have practiced their routine, to be performed wearing special LED light suits alongside a procession of BMX riders, for the final time before its filming later this month.
The inventive film’s debut will see it projected to crowds watching a choreographed two-wheeled routine by illuminated cyclists outside The Tetley gallery in Hunslet on May 16 and 17.
Around 2,000 people are expected to view the performances each night, which are being billed among the headline attractions of the £2m Yorkshire Festival 2014 aimed at celebrating the region’s arts and culture in the build up to the July 5 and 6 Grand Depart.
Sharon Watson, artistic director at Phoenix, said: “We had a great day in the studio, we added another element so it is quite exciting. It’s going to be quite psychedelic on the night.
“The light suits and music draw you in so you’re mesmerised by the complex patterns made through movement. It will be a wonderful experience at dusk in Leeds.”
Ghost Peloton is a collaboration between Scottish arts charity NVA, Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre and sustainable transport charity Sustrans. The 45-minute live performance, which itself will be filmed before being screened during the Grand Depart TV coverage, will see riders roll in from five Sustrans National Cycle Network trails before coming together for an eyecatching display at The Tetley.
The work is a progression of NVA’s Speed of Light project, which lit up thousands of runners in response to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Angus Farquhar, creative director of NVA, said: “The collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre and amateur racing cyclists will present a beautiful and poetic visual response to the Tour de France both as a film work and live public event.”
Although the dancers are professionals, the cycling peloton will be made up of up to 60 riders who range from competitive cyclists to two-wheeled commuters. Due to high demand for places, the project has been opened up to 10 extra experienced road cyclists. Auditions for places run up until tomorrow.
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