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First ‘Welsh Performing Arts Festival’ set to forge stronger links with Germany

Wales’ arts and cultural industries are set to lead the way in forging greater links with Germany by staging the first ‘Welsh Performing Arts Festival’ in Dresden.

British Council Wales and Arts Council of Wales have joined forces with Societaets Theatre to programme the festival with the aim of showcasing Welsh work to Germany.

Already a top export destination for Wales accounting for 19.6% of exports, it is hoped the festival will further increase the profile of Wales in Germany, build on current relationships and help forge new partnerships.

Part of the British Council’s UK/Germany 2018 season, which celebrates and explores the cultural connections between the UK and Germany in a dynamic, year-long programme, the Welsh Performing Arts Festival will take place between April 27th and May 5th.

Seven Welsh companies will showcase a production at the theatre in Dresden during the course of the festival.

Curated by Ffotogallery, Cardiff-based photographer Clementine Schneidermann will showcase her award-winning exhibition ‘I called her Lisa Marie’, photos which capture life in the South Wales valleys.

Welsh contemporary dancer Jo Fong, described by The Observer as ‘something of a legend on the UK contemporary dance scene’ will be taking her piece ‘an invitation’ to the festival.

Cardiff-based theatre company Dirty Protest is set to grace the stage with a new piece of writing ‘Sugar Baby’, a new, one-man comedy from critically-acclaimed writer Alan Harris and award-winning Welsh company Dirty Protest.

Renowned Welsh storyteller Michael Harvey performs in Adverse Camber’s spellbinding new storytelling and music performance – ‘Dreaming the Night Field’ – which evokes the ancient Welsh legend of The Fourth Branch of The Mabinogion.  Adverse Camber also show The Remarkable Tale of Robert Desnos, featuring the storyteller Daniel Morden.

Mike Pearson, an expert in sitespecific theatre, will deliver a talk on the topic based on his National Theatre Wales productions Storm.1 and Storm.2.

A special screening of BAFTA Cymru Best Film 2017, Ellen, with a filmed introduction from director and Breakthrough Brit, Mahalia Belo, will be shown.

The festival will culminate with ‘Meet Fred’ an acclaimed production from Cardiff-based Hijinx, producers of inclusive theatre, featuring actors with learning disabilities.

Rebecca Gould, head of arts, for British Council Wales, said:

“Our aim at British Council Wales is to showcase the most innovative and creative work from Wales with the world and together with Societas Theatre Germany we have curated seven Welsh companies which are at the top of their game for our first Welsh Performing Arts Festival in Germany.

“Our festival of Welsh arts to celebrate the UK/Germany 2018 season with a year of culture comes at a strategically important time.

“The festival offers an important opportunity for Wales and Germany to refresh and strengthen links, and also create new dynamic connections and creative collaborations

“Germany is an important country for Wales from an export perspective, with £2.93bn worth of goods exported last year. While the UK negotiates its exit from the European Union, we hope to demonstrate how art and culture will continue to connect people in Wales and Germany after Brexit.

“We’re really looking forward to the festival and showcasing the talent that Wales has on offer.”