Bicycle Ballet

The Bicycle Ballet Company creates outdoor dance performances on bicycles, exploring the joyful highs and gritty lows of cycling. The choreographies fuse dance and physical theatre with visual spectacle, comedy and striking soundtracks.

Initially conceived as a mass participatory performance, engaging people and their bikes in new, exciting and unexpected ways is still at the heart of the project. 

The work is created for outdoors, to cross the boundaries of art, sport, health and environment, to attract the widest range of audiences or passers-by, and to transform familiar environments into places of discovery and magic.

  • Image: Bicycle Ballet Mass Show Photographer: Ray Gibson
  • Image: The Dance of Cycling
  • Image: Strictly Cycling Photographer: Raysto Images

Productions

Bicycle Ballet Mass (Participatory) Show

  • Duration:
  • People on road: 6
  • Freight: No freight necessary
  • Freight details: Transport of costumes - 50 jackets and 60 wired scarves.

Description:

Bicycle Ballet is performed by up to 100 local participants. The choreography moves between formation sequences, reminiscent of Busby Berkeley, with visual spectacle and character-based stories inspired by people’s cycling experiences. Choreographed by Virginia Farman in collaboration with Creative Producer Karen Poley. 

Large-scale, site responsive production, suitable for all ages.

Strictly Cycling

  • Duration:
  • People on road: 5
  • Freight: No freight necessary
  • Freight details: 5 bikes

Description:

An exciting new 'cycle/walk-about' show, combining improvisation, choreography and visual performance. 

The performance plays with the everyday events and experiences of riding a bike, adding a hint of the surreal and comical, to change the way you think about cycling and your city spaces. 

Strictly Cycling is a strolling/cycling, promenade-style performance, inspired by the flash mob phenomenon.  Five to ten professional dancers perform choreographed and improvised routines on, off, over and around their bicycles, in almost any location. The show is high impact, with visually striking costumes and a mobile soundscape. It's exciting, comic, self-contained and able to go anywhere – from shopping centres and high streets, to parks and rural locations.

Everyday Hero

  • Duration:
  • People on road: 8
  • Freight: No freight necessary
  • Freight details: 3 tandems, could be sourced locally

Description:

On a quest for adventure and self-discovery, a group of friends (Vanity, Fear, Happiness, Frustration, Bravery and Curiosity) cross the threshold and plunge into a forest of fear. Through real and imagined landscapes, helped and hindered by people and creatures along the way, they must battle demons to return with untold riches on a tandem. 

Everyday Hero is a unique outdoor dance theatre production, performed by an integrated company of visually impaired and sighted performers. The show features a rich soundscape of music and sound, with a descriptive narrative text containing elements of audio description, to tell the story and outline the action.

Wraparound work

The Mass Show participants learn choreography in two groups: The Chorus are the main performers who rehearse over several weeks to create and dance formation routines; The Mass rehearse in one or two sessions, to create giant formations that sweep across the performance space, punctuating the performance.

Strictly Cycling – a flash mob-inspired workshop (two hours) for up to 20 people and their bikes, to learn some basic choreographic structures. Participants are split into five groups, each led by a performer, to perform in different areas of a town and gradually come together for a big ending.

Press Comments & Testimonials

"[the dance of cycling] cuts between street theatre routines and more ambitious sequences. There are jokes and poses, quick cuts between styles, designed to hold an audience of passers-by."

The Independent

"a charming, witty and refreshing piece of outdoor performance and I was gripped."

Nicki Street, Fools Paradise

"I loved it. Loved it."

Lemn Sissay, Associate Artist at Southbank Centre and Official Poet at London Olympics, on Everyday Hero

"The surrealism of the story is so reflective of how blind and partially sighted people perceive their lives, the emotions and fears etc." 

Fiona Musgrove, Vision 4 Growth  

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Details

Artistic Director(s)

Karen Poley

Contact details

Karen Poley
Creative Producer

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