DanceWest festival returns to the Lyric Hammersmith

London’s biggest dance festival returns to Hammersmith for the first time since 2018.

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DanceWest Fest runs at the Lyric Hammersmith theatre on 19 and 20 May. PICTURE: CHRIS NASH

Hang on to your hats! London’s biggest dance festival returns to Hammersmith for the first time since 2018, with shows at the Lyric theatre in May.

DanceWest Fest involves four new commissions from Lea Anderson, Jamaal Burkma, Gerrard Martin and James Wilton Dance, with performances from dance groups and schools.

Tickets are now on sale from the Lyric website.

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DanceWest in performance. PICTURE: CHRIS NASH


Formerly known as the Ignition Dance Festival, the event on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May is led by Lea Anderson, the independent dance artist and co-founder of dance companies The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs. In a 40-year career she has created more than 100 dance works.

Presenting a piece for an ensemble of dancers, Jamaal Burkmar will explore static movement in his latest creation, while dance artist Gerrard Martin’s new work looks at the tenderness and vulnerability of Black men.

Completing the new programme is James Wilton Dance, a company which explores what remains after we’re gone.

DanceWest Fest

DanceWest Fest was set up to provide opportunities for local audiences to enjoy new dance works. The hope is that it will now be staged every two years.

Founder Rosie Whitney-Fish said: “Since 2014, the festival has grown to provide a range of opportunities for highly regarded established choreographers, exciting emerging artists and community dance groups.”

DanceWest is an award-winning local charity that has pioneered high-quality dance programmes offering a creative response to issues including poor health, socio-economic disadvantage and unequal access to physical activity.

In November 2021, DanceWest opened a community focused studio at the Sands End Arts & Community Centre in Fulham.

DanceWest was shortlisted for the One Dance UK Health & Wellbeing award and our founder for the One Dance UK Spotlight award in 2022.

Recommended for ages 14+. For more details, visit the DanceWest Fest page of the Lyric's website.

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