Big Dance

DanceEast is the Big Dance Hub for the East of England. Big Dance is a biennial festival of people dancing delivered by Foundation for Community Dance and the Mayor of London.

The Big Dance Hub organisations work in each region and country of the UK to provide a programme of dance participation opportunities and performances during Big Dance Week every two years. As a Big Dance Hub we help to develop and deliver nationwide projects and offer all-year round opportunities to get involved with dance, wherever you live.


In 2016, DanceEast took part in The Big Dance Pledge – a free opportunity to learn an original choreography, or develop it to make it your own, then perform it wherever you are as part of a worldwide performance day. Akram Khan created the choreography along with a specially composed music by Nitin Sawheny. Using the themes of ‘overcoming adversity’ and ‘achievement’ Akram encouraged groups to tell their own stories through the choreography and come together to share their experiences in performance.

During DanceEast’s Performance Platform as part of the Move | Be Moved Festival 2016, all participating local community groups and performance groups from across the region attended a workshop to learn the Big Dance choreography, which was then performed by all of the performers as a curtain raiser at the Performance Platform showcase on Saturday 2 July.


In 2014, the Big Dance Weekend, 12-13 July, saw a programme of exceptional performances and events in public spaces across England. In the East of England we were proud to showcase…

Athur Pita – The World’s Greatest Show
Corn Exchange, Ipswich

The World’s Great Show featured at the Corn Exchange, Ipswich, it is a dance-theatre work exploring the compelling and disturbing phenomenon of 1930s dance marathons during the American depression; human endurance contests where couples danced almost non-stop for hundreds of hours competing for prize money. The longest recorded marathon lasted for 3,780 hours.

Choreographed by Arthur Pita, the creator of multi award-winning sell-out success of The Metamorphosis at the Royal Opera House and The Little Match Girl at the Jerwood DanceHouse. And with original music by Frank Moon (composer for The Little Match Girl) and a live jazz band, Nobody’s Baby paints a dark, dreamlike picture of the desperate people embroiled in these enormously popular ‘entertainments’.

DanceEast & Tom Hobden – Eat. Sleep. Dance!

At Christchurch Park in Ipswich, DanceEast presented a specially created new piece performed by DanceEast companies, a new community group and invited guest dancers, inspired by Arthur Pita’s performance. Hundreds of people took part in free dance workshops on the day. The piece was a co-commission by DanceEast and the Foundation for Community Dance for the Big Dance Weekend 2014.




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