Lift Off Dance Festival

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Lift Off Dance Festival is the annual dance festival held at South Hill Park Arts Centre since 2000.

The festival aims to offer a chance for everyone to experience dance as a participant, performer or audience member and bring together those new to dance or taking their first steps on stage, with those working in the world of professional dance as teacher, performer or choreographer.

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 House 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 any of this year’s event.


Lift Off Dance Festival 2018

U.Dance Regional Final

U.Dance Lift Off Dance Festival 2018 is a partnership event between Lift Off Dance Festival, South East Dance and One Dance UK. Groups will compete for a place at the U.Dance national youth dance festival in Suffolk. Click here U.Dance Regional Finals for the list of competing dance companies

Wilde Theatre, £12, Members & Conc £10

Sun 22 April, 5-6.30pm

Youth & Community Gala 1

Click on this link Youth & Community Gala 1 for a full list of performers.

Wilde Theatre, £12, Members & Conc £10

Sat 28 April, 7-9pm

Youth & Community Gala 2

Click on this link Youth & Community Gala 2 for full list of performers.

Wilde Theatre, £12, Members & Conc £10

Sun 29 April 7-9pm

Joss Arnott: Triple Bill

Joss Arnott Dance’s new classical contemporary programme will take you on a gripping journey through powerful and hart-pounding choreography. The programme consists of two brand new dance works – A Movement in 3 and RUSH, alongside the company’s internationally award-winning solo that will feature live music for the first time. Expect a highly charged, visually stunning musically led evening of dance that explodes with power and technical brilliance. There will be a post-show discussion. Suitable for 11yrs+

Part of DANCEPASSPORT offer.

Wilde Theatre, £15.50, Members £13.50, Schools £8

Tue 27 February, 7.45-9.05pm

Protein Dance: Border Tales

Following a phenomenal run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to sold-out audience, award-winning Protein presents a satirical look at multicultural Britain. a blend of dance, dialogue and live music, this is a witty and poignant commentary on stereotypical thinking a post-Brexit Britain. There will be a post-show discussion.

Part of DANCEPASSPORT offer.

Wilde Theatre, £15.50, Members & Conc £13.50, Schools £8, Age 12yrs+

Wed 25 April, 7.45-9.05pm, there is no interval

Tavaziva: Izindava

“It is not about fear, its is about strength and humanity”
Bawren Tavaziva’s new work is a bold and universal message about human fragility within our changing world. Beautiful, haunting and provocative, Izindava unearths raw emotions and is performed by a cast of stunning dancers. Tavaziva’s unique style seamlessly synthesises ballet, contemporary and African dance. There will be a post-show discussion.

Part of DANCEPASSPORT offer.

Wilde Theatre, £15.50, Members & Conc £13.50, Schools £8, Suitable for age 12 yrs+

Mon 30 April, 7.45-8.45pm, no interval

Ballet Technique and Repertoire
with Désirée Ballantyne Grove

Ex-English national Ballet and current Michael Clark Company dancer Désirée will lead an inspiring ballet technique masterclass, looking at the fundamentals that underpin a great dance technique as well as teaching some well known ballet repertoire. Some ballet experience essential.

Dance Studio, £5, Suitable for 12 yrs+

Sat 28 April, 1.15-2.30pm

Street Dance - Dan Little
Street Dance with Dan Little

Join Dan Little for this energetic and creative Street Dance masterclass, showcasing powerful street dance repertoire that is the signature of the award-winning Vanquish  brand.

Dance Studio, £5, Age 8+

Sat 28 April, 3.45-4.45pm
Sun 29 April, 3.40-4.40pm

Contemporary and Choreography with Luke Brown

Join Luke in a challenging and inspiring Contemporary session that will push your creativity and performance skills. Learn more about Luke’s signature choreographic process as well as how to develop your own choreographic language.

Dance Studio, £5, Suitable age 11 yrs+

Sun 29 April, 12 noon-1pm (Sold Out)

Stunt Cheer with Artemis Studios

Join Master Cheer Coach Gemah Sanger for a stunt cheer session with Artemis Elite. This session is aimed at dancers, athletes and gymnasts and covers Levels 1 & 2 cheer and cheer stunt techniques. All shapes and sizes welcome. Cheer experience is not needed – strength and stamina are! Mats will be provided. Wear dance clothing, trainers and bring a bottle of water.

Dance Studio, £5, Suitable age 12 yrs+

Sun 29 April, 1.15-2.15pm

Contemporary Partnering with Edifice Dance Theatre

Edifice Dance Theatre is a dance collective with its own hybrid movement language that combines different partnering techniques, primarily contact improvisation and ballroom dance. The session will improve partnering skills, stimulate creativity when working with partners alongside learning professional company repertoire. Dancers must have previous contemporary experience.

Dance Studio, £5, Suitable 13 yrs+

Sun 29 April, 2.30-3.30pm

ROH Live: Bernstein Centenary:
New McGregor/The Age of Anxiety/New Wheeldon

To celebrate the centenary year of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, The Royal Ballet has united all three of its associate choreographers to celebrate the dynamic range and danceability of Bernstein’s music. The programme includes two world premieres by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, marking each artist’s first foray into Bernstein.

Part of DANCEPASSPORT offer.

Cinema, £20, Conc £19, Members £18, Under 18’s £12

Tue 27 March 7.15-10.15pm running time includes 2 intervals

ROH Live: Manon

Manon’s brother Lescaut is offering her to the highest bidder when she meets Des Grieux and falls in love. They elope to Paris, but when Monsieur G.M. offers Manon a life of luxury as his mistress she can’t resist.

Part of DANCEPASSPORT offer.

Cinema, £20, Conc £19, Members £18, Under 18’s £12
Thu 3 May: 7.15 – 9.50pm running time includes 2 intervals

Opéra national de Paris. Live
Thierrée, Shechter, Pérez, Pite

Four contemporary choreographers come together for a programme that leads the Opera’s dancers to a new form of modernity where bodies vibrate with intensity. To open the evening, James Thierrée takes over the public areas of the Palais Garnier and introduces us to his dream-like world. Canada’s Crystal Pite returns with The Seasons’ Canon, a dazzling creation that thrilled audiences at the Palais Garnier last season. Spain’s Iván Pérez occupies the stage of the Opera for the first time with a creation for ten male dancers. To conclude the evening, Israel’s Hofesh Shechter, often lauded for his telluric, trance-evoking dances, offers a new version of his piece The Art of Not Looking Back.

Part of DANCEPASSPORT offer.

Cinema, £20, Conc £19, Members £18, Under 18’s £12
Thu 24 May, 6.15-8.50pm, running time with 2 intervals

ROH live: Swan Lake 

Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans while out hunting. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful woman, Odette, he is enraptured. But she is under a spell that holds her captive, allowing her to regain her human form only at night.

Part of DANCEPASSPORT offer.

Cinema, £20, Conc £19, Members £18, Under 18’s £12

Tue 12 June, 7.15-10.15pm. running time includes 2 intervals

Contemporary Technique and Repertoire
with Emily Pottage, Joss Arnott Dance

An inspirational contemporary session offering the opportunity to improve all aspects of your technique and learn some of Joss Arnott’s phenomenal, physical repertoire.

Suitable for age 10+

Dance Studio, £5

Sat 28 April 12 noon – 1pm

Contemporary Technique and Repertoire
with Jodie Blemmings, Chrysalis London

This masterclass will give a flavour of the highly dynamic style that has become the company’s signature.  This class will include multiple choreographic combinations designed to increase stamina and power, incorporating floorwork, jumps and travelling sequences which will leave participants exhilarated and energised.

Suitable for age 10+

Dance Studio, £5

Sat 28 April, 2.40 – 3.40pm (Sold Out)

Our Last Tango
Dir. German Kral, Arg/Ger/Sp, 2015, 85 mins Spanish with subtitles
María Nieves Rego, Juan Carlos Copes, Melina Brutman
Deeply touching and stylistically innovative documentary about the life and love story of Argentina’s famous tango dancers, who met as teenagers and danced together for nearly fifty years until a painful separation tore them apart.

Cinema, £8.60, Conc £7.60, Members £7
Wed 2 May, 7.30pm

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella
New Adventures
Matthew Bourne’s interpretation of the classic fairy tale, has, at its heart, a true war-time romance. A chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz. With Lez Brotherston’s sumptuous costumes and sets, which won an Olivier Award for his original designs, and lighting by Olivier Award-winning Neil Austin, Cinderella will be performed in surround sound, designed by Paul Groothuis, with video and projection design by Duncan McLean and featuring a specially commissioned recording played by a 60 piece orchestra. Matthew Bourne’s vivid storytelling has never been more heart-stopping and touching, and will take the audience into the heart of Prokofiev’s magnificent score, and the sights and sounds of war-torn London. Recorded with live Q&A

Cinema, £14, Conc £13, Members/Under 18’s £12
Tue 15 May, 7pm

An American in Paris
The Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical about love, hope and living your dreams, has taken the West End by storm, with standing ovations from the public and a record-setting 28 five-star reviews from UK critics. With gorgeous Gershwin tunes (including the classic hits ‘S Wonderful and I Got Rhythm), stunning designs and show-stopping choreography, this breathtakingly beautiful new musical is inspired by the Oscar® winning MGM film and tells the impassioned story of an American GI discovering art, friendship and love in the ‘City of Light’ in 1945.

Recorded live
Cinema, £19, Conc £18, Members £17, Under 18’s £12
Wed 16 May, 7pm

Step (PG)
Dir: Amanda Lipitz, US, 2017, 82 mins.
Paula Dofat, Cori Grainger, Tayla Solomo
Soul-stirring, foot stomping and inspirational documentary following an inner-city Baltimore girls’ high-school dance team.

Thu 8 March, 7.30pm

£8.60, Conc £7.60, Members £7

Lift Off Dance Festival 2018

If you would like more information on participating in the 2018 festival please either complete the form below or email Lena Dee directly.

Please check back to this page for updates as the 2018 program is finalised.