NEWS: TALL SHIPS CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Cirque Bijou, Chris Bullzini by Andrew Billington

Sunderland is set to welcome the international Tall Ships Race from Wednesday 11th to Saturday 14th July, with 55 sailing vessels cruising down the Wear. As part of the celebrations, a raft (sorry…) of cultural goings on will also grace the quays and port, with the city’s seafaring heritage heartily embraced.

Markets and fairgrounds, live music, arts workshops, exhibitions and displays will be on offer, with locals as well as performers from around the globe well represented. Of particular note is a performance from Newcastle-based dance company Southpaw, who bring their visually arresting show Carousel to the celebrations on Thursday 12th. A fully-functioning merry-go-round provides the backdrop to an edgy story of fairground workers in which Balkan and gypsy-influenced music serenades dance theatre and drama. Another local face, Sunderland-based Sophie Lisa Beresford, will bring her unique music and dance work to proceedings on Saturday 14th, plus there’s aerial acrobatics from Emma Bloomfield and the Summer Streets music and arts festival (more on that in our News section).

A performance from Circus Bijou will see three highly skilled wire walkers ascend a 30m high, 220m long high wire without a safety net, attempting to set a new world record; Welsh company Citrus Arts will perform dance and aerial acrobatics on an upturned ship’s hull (both on Friday 13th) and kicking everything off on Wednesday 11th, disabled and able-bodied circus troupe Extraordinary Bodies will defy gravity on a high aerial rig.

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