Lift Off Dance Festival

Home » Lift Off Dance Festival
Lift Off Dance Festival is back to celebrate its 20th birthday! What started as a local council led dance festival to showcase local Bracknell dance groups and schools has grown over the past 2 decades to encompass a wide range of dance styles, ages, abilities as well as reaching far beyond Berkshire. Dance professionals, students of dance and audience members come together for this annual extravaganza of stunning cutting edge performances, masterclasses, dance on screen cinema events and youth and community group showcases. Whether you are a seasoned performer or theatre goer, or new to the world of dance, there is something to interest all tastes and a great way to experience the art form.
Initially started by Bracknell Forest Council, South Hill Park took full ownership of the festival under the artistic direction of Lena Dee from 2005.

Each year the festival hosts several dance performances by the local community and professional dance companies, alongside a variety of dance workshops, dance cinema, live dance performance relays from around the globe and related dance events.

Professional dance companies who have performed their own evenings’ work during the festival include StopGap, Tavaziva Dance, Sonia Sabri, Jasmin Vardimon to name but a few.

The festival has grown in size and ambition since its inception and the Galas now not only showcase local dance talent from Berkshire but also dancers from Surrey, Hampshire and London and surrounding areas.  The Galas now include performances and workshops led by professional dancers and choreographers so the participants and audience members get to see where the years of hard dance training can lead and are an inspiration and insight for many into the world of professional dance.

Each year new elements are added to the festival to widen the appeal for those learning, performing or watching the festival events, including the recent addition of the latest technologies to provide live relay links to Opera Houses around the world for their ballet performances.

Please contact Lena Dee on for information on how to take part in the festival or for more information on this year’s event.


Lift Off Dance Festival 2020

Shows and Performances

The Little Prince

Luca Silvestrini’s Protein

Find out how the Little Prince leaves his own tiny asteroid and journey’s through the universe, coming face-to-face with the baffling world of grown ups.

Once on planet Earth, the Little Prince is welcomed by a mysterious snake, wise fox and a stranded lone pilot. Together they discover the beauty of friendship and the complexity of love.

The Little Prince brings Protein’s award-winning mix of dance, humour and spoken word.

Age 5yrs+.

Sat 15 Feb 7pm, Wilde Theatre

£14.50, Members £12.50, Family of four £46

For more information, click here. Book your tickets online or through the Box Office (01344 484123)


Dotdotdot Dance

Dragged backwards through a waking dream, summoning memory through the earth’s vibration, and quivering under the external gaze.

Three strikingly dynamic flamenco dance pieces incorporate live music, electronic music and spoken word. Traditional solo dances are turned inside out, remoulded and transformed into trios – exposing each choreographer’s personality through three vibrantly contrasting flamenco styles. In Body is a triple bill that was originally commissioned and produced by Sadler’s Wells, London.

Tue 17 Mar 7.45pm, Wilde Theatre

£17.50, Members £15.50

For more information, click here. Book your tickets online or through the Box Office (01344 484123)

Unfortunately, due to the impact on travel from the coronavirus, the company bringing In Body from Spain will now not be able to come to the UK. As a result, we have had to postpone their visit to South Hill Park until further notice. DOTDOTDOT Dance hopes to tour the UK in early 2021 instead.


Alexander Whitley Dance Company

Known for his groundbreaking use of technology, Alexander Whitley’s new work delves into what it means to be human in the era of big data. Overflow features a dazzling kinetic light sculpture by Children of the Light and an original score by Rival Consoles, who music featured on the Netflix series Black Mirror.

Alexander Whitley is a New Wave Associate at Sadler’s Wells, London.

Whitley’s choreography is sinuous, sensuous and elemental EVENING STANDARD

Ages 8yrs+

Wed 22 Apr 7.45pm, Wilde Theatre

£16.50, Members £14.50

For more information, click here. Book your tickets online or through the Box Office (01344 484123)

Spy Monkey

ATMA Dance

Join Hanuman, our brave and intrepid Monkey Intelligence Officer, on his most important secret mission to date! He will need to use all his extraordinary superpowers to find and rescue the captured Princess Sita from Ravana, a wicked ten-headed demon King, and could do with your help!

Full of daring and wit, Spy Monkey brings a contemporary twist to a classic Indian tale from the Ramayana, perfect for family audiences. Three incredible performers use hip-hop and Bharata Natyam dance, music and story-telling to excite and engage young audiences and adults alike.

Brilliant. We all loved the whole show. Such clever ideas and such a lovely story!’ PARENT ON THE MAGIC FISH

Ages 4yrs+

Sun 17 May 3pm, Wilde Theatre

£12.50, Members £10.50

For more information, click here. Book your tickets online or through the Box Office (01344 484123)

Youth & Community Gala 1

Performances by Shimmy Café Barefoot Dance Fusion, Ilusion Flamenca, Hip Hop Replacements, OFLAC, The Laura Henderson Dance Company, Nocturn/Illume, Creative Academy, Fly Dance Company – City of Oxford College, Free Fall Dance Company, Brakenhale School, Innov8 Dance School, Elevate Escalate Dance Company, Berkshire County Dance Company Youth, Dark Matter Dance Company, Reddam House Juniors, Eagle House School, Elibah School of Dance with a special guest performance by professional dance artist Jann Esterhuizen.

Sat 28 March 7pm – 9pm, Wilde Theatre

£13, Members £11

For more information, click here. Book your tickets online or through the Box Office (01344 484123)

Youth & Community Gala 2

Performances by Jawahir Bellydance, Moving Stories Dance Company, Sonder, Strictly Street Dance Company, Dance Phaze, Senior West Berkshire Youth Dance Company, Hampshire Youth Dance Company, Reading School of Dance, WISE Male Youth Dance Company, Twilight – Yateley School, YDC Dance School, Hot Steppers – Dance Inspired, Drishti Dance, Lafour Theatre School, Marist Gymtastic, Rambert School Pre-Vocational Course with special guest performance by Felix Clements.

Sun 29 March 7pm – 9pm, Wilde Theatre

£13, Members £11

For more information, click here. Book your tickets online or through the Box Office (01344 484123)



By Edifice Dance Theatre

The film, loosely based on Oscar Wilde’s play, captures the electric moment Salomé and Jokanaan first meet. As the fateful encounter begins, sexuality and dogma inevitably collide in a spiralling dance of obsession and rejection. Unlike previous adaptations of the material, the film focuses on the effect Salomé has upon Jokanaan and his world of orthodoxy, highlighting both characters strengths and weaknesses, for a thought-provoking portrayal of one of humanity’s most enduring battles – desire versus dogma. EDIFICE Dance Theatre is a UK based dance theatre company that explore a hybrid approach to partner work using contact improvisation and ballroom.

EDIFICE was founded in 2015 by co-directors Carmine De Amicis and Harriet Waghorn after producing dance film ‘Edifice’ directed by Rogerio Silva. The video now has 8 million views worldwide. Stage productions include BLOOD WEDDING and ‘TIL DEATH DO US…’ and Arts Council funded ‘TENOME’ and ‘Salomé’ toured through the UK and and internationally to Madrid, Berlin and Canada.

EDIFICE’s unique combination of ballroom and contemporary makes it different from any other contemporary company working in the UK. Creating work that combines the speed, passion and connection of ballroom, with the fluidity, freedom and connection of contemporary dance.

Directed by Rogerio Silva
With Carmine De Amicis and Harriet Elizabeth Waghorn
Choreographed by EDIFICE Dance Theatre
With Andre Kamienski, Nanci Berti and Sergio Jaraiz
Music by Symphocat
Vocals by Oksana Ferenchukt
Cello by Katerina Kartushina
Shot, Edited and Graded by Rogerio Silva
Production Design by EDIFICE Dance Theatre
Costume Design by Loranique Pienaar
Shot on Location at Asylum Chapel, London

Fri 1 – Sun 31 May, Projection above mansion staircase


Dance Masterclasses

A series of masterclasses, led by professional dancers and choreographers, covering various styles including contemporary, ballet, commercial, street dance, jazz and more. Open to all ages and abilities.

Sat 28 & Sun 29 Mar 12noon – 5pm

Dance on Screen

Swan Lake

Royal Opera House Live Ballet

Liam Scarlett’s glorious production of Swan Lake, new in 2018, returns for its first revival. An intoxicating mix of spectacle and intimate passion, the overall effect is irresistible.

Wed 1 Apr 7.15pm, Cinema

£20.50, Members £18.50 

For more information, click here. Book your tickets online or through the Box Office (01344 484123)

The Dante Project

Royal Opera House Live Ballet

Dante’s Divine Comedy is an epic journey through the afterlife. In his new work, The Royal Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor creates a world premiere in collaboration with an award-winning team – to bring us closer to Dante and his extraordinary vision.

Thu 28 May 7.15pm, Cinema

£20.50, Members £18.50

For more information, click here. Book your tickets online or through the Box Office (01344 484123)


CATS The Movie (Cert U)

The lives and loves of a tribe of cats. Based on the iconic stage musical and with a to-die-for cast, this spectacular new production uses state-of-the-art technology and dance styles from classical ballet to hip-hop to tap.

Thu 20 – Sun 23 Feb, Thu 1pm, Fri 10.30am & 7.30pm, Sat & Sun 3pm, Cinema

£9.50, Conc £8.50, Members £7.50
Family Super Deal tickets (2+2) £22, Child price £3 (15yrs and under)

Click here to book

Yuli – The Carlos Acosta Story (Cert 15)

Carlos Acosta broke boundaries and became the first black Principal dancer of The Royal Ballet. He was the Company’s Principal Guest Artist for 17 years.

Yuli: The Carlos Acosta Story is a distinctive and effective film which tells the story of the Cuban dance legend – partly through dance and archive footage.

Mon 16 March 7.30pm, Cinema

£9.50, Conc £8.50, Members £7.50

If you would like more information about participating in the 2021 festival, please either complete the form below or email Lena Dee directly.

Please check back to this page for updates as the 2020 program is finalised.