The Dartington Hall Trust has announced its summer season of performing arts events, featuring music, theatre, dance, contemporary performance and poetry.
The new Space arts and enterprise initiative has also launched, providing high-quality arts rehearsal and production facilities for resident and non-resident creative companies.
Three main themes run through the summer season: intimate; international; and new music, which will be explored with award-winning established artists from across the UK joining talent from across the South West.
The summer will bring a broad range of theatre, starting with Tiny Volcanoes on Thursday, May 12 showcasing two actors playing a host of characters in a fast-paced, hilarious inquisition.
On Tuesday, May 17, House of Extreme Music Theatre explore a visual and sound world in Cepheus, culminating in a surprising and stimulating performance.
There will also be family theatre from Travelling Light and Polka Dot Theatre on Saturday, May 21; performances from artist-in-residence Mark Drummond with Earthdrum Theatre; and a performance of Epic from Foster & Dèchery, a playful look back at the 20th century on Wednesday, June 1.
The Playgoers Society of Dartington Hall completes the theatrical line-up with an open-air production of Macbeth in the Graveyard at Dartington from Friday 10th to Saturday 18th June.
Leo Kay provides a stripped-back performance incorporating story telling, dance theatre and Afro Brazilian percussion, set in the intimacy of a bed-sit, on Friday, May 20 at 6pm and 9pm. The intimate theme continues with an opportunity to share personal experiences, gathered stories and a nice cuppa in Tea is an Evening Meal by Dartington College of Arts alumni Faye Draper on Wednesday, June 8 at 6pm and 8pm.
In music, Dartington’s Composer in Association Hugh Nankivell and internationally acclaimed improviser Theo Travis join forces on Saturday, April 30 for a one-off concert combining live loops, sound processing and music with film. There are also showcases of outstanding work by students from South West Music School on Saturday, May 22, and on Sunday, May 29 the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment returns to demonstrate the thrilling musicality and unique style that makes each of their concerts an edge-of-the-seat experience.
The estate will also host a series of festivals this summer, from the Tagore Festival in early May and the HOME festival of acoustic music on June 24 and 25, to Ways With Words in July and Dartington International Summer School in August. The historic landscape at Dartington Hall is the backdrop for Black Sphere, a new sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist David Nash, this summer – on exhibition in the gardens until September.
The Tagore 150 celebrations also continue with Tagore & Dartington: An Exhibition running in the Gallery to Tuesday, June 28. The free documentary exhibition celebrates the influence of Nobel Prize-winning poet, teacher and polymath Rabindranath Tagore on Dartington’s work in the arts, social justice and sustainability.
Finally, there is a busy programme of artist residencies throughout spring and summer as part of Dartington’s new Space initiative.
Participating artists include jazz pianist Matthew Bourne, who is at Dartington performing and recording new work, and Iranian filmmaker Mona Rafat Zadeh, who will be developing new work as part of the month-long Dartington Film Residency in collaboration with Visiting Arts, a national agency promoting intercultural understanding through the arts. Previous artist-in-residence Ben Mellor will also return with his poetry performance Climate Myths, which he developed at Dartington, on Saturday, May 14.
David Francis, director of arts at The Dartington Hall Trust, said: “Dartington’s extensive arts activities are focused on supporting creative excellence and new artistic talent, developing new creative work, and bringing a broad range of cultural activities to local audiences. The quality and range of the spring/summer performance season reflects this, with work in diverse genres and styles from some of the best artists in the South West, from across the UK and internationally.”
For full information on the Dartington April to August performance programme visit the Dartington Arts site. Tickets are available online and from the box office on 01803 847070.
(image: Tea is an Evening Meal. Front page, Epic courtesy of Manuel Vason)