Dig out your dancing shoes for LGBT 50

Whether you’re a dancing queen or have two left feet, Yorkshire Dance are inviting you to get involved in Into the Light, a unique performance celebrating 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality began in the UK.

Featuring eight professional dancers and 42 local people, this specially commissioned dance piece will be led by award-winning choreographer Gary Clarke and will take place in Queen Victoria Square on Saturday 29 July as part of Hull 2017’s LGBT 50 programme.

Locals will learn the dance at a series of workshops taking place in the lead up to the event, and everybody is encouraged to take part, whatever their dancing ability. If this sounds like your cup of tea, there are two open workshops taking place on 19 May and 2 June at 6pm in Victoria Dock Village Hall where you can find out more about Into the Light and sign up to get involved.

Once dancers are signed up, further workshops will take place to guide participants through the choreography and form the dance that will celebrate the LGBT+ community and its stories over the last 50 years.

LGBT 50 will kick off on Saturday 22 July when Pride in Hull’s annual parade weaves its way through the city centre in spectacular style, featuring representations of 50 LGBT+ icons created by the local LGBT+ community and coordinated by queer collective Duckie. Culminating in a huge Queen’s Gardens concert headlined by the legendary Marc Almond, it’s set to be a special day.

Throughout the week there will be exhibitions, debates and more along with a film programme supported by the British Film Institute with Hull Independent Cinema, all programmed to celebrate the LGBT+ community, its stories and its heroes past and present.

From 27 July, Humber Street Gallery will host The House of Kings and Queens, a commissioned exhibition of photography by Lee Price. Captured in Sierra Leone, where homosexuality remains illegal, Price’s images offer a rare glimpse into The House, a safe haven where inhabitants can live without oppression and fear.

The festivities will culminate on Saturday 29 July with the show-stopping event A Duckie Summer Tea Party in Queen Victoria Square, combining surprise performances and dancing with tea and cake before Hull welcomes a special BBC Radio 2 live concert.

Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017 said: “This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the start of decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK and Hull will be the epicentre of celebration and commemoration.”

“It’s an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made and what still needs to be done, here in the UK and around the world. But it’s also a chance to dress up, get a bit sparkly and have a big old celebration. We’re more than excited that Duckie are coming back to Hull, joining the energetic Pride in Hull team, Yorkshire Dance and our other partners to create something really special that is a lot of fun.

Interested in finding out more about Yorkshire Dance or booking a place on a free workshop? Get in touch with Kirsty Redhead at Yorkshire Dance via email or on 01132 439867. All participants much be aged 14 and over.