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The streets of Kendal will burst into life for three days of outdoor performance at this year's Mintfest International Festival of Street Arts on 31 August to 2 September.
Following its spectacular season launch with a firework, dance and drumming show by Les Commandos Percu in Bowness, to welcome the Olympic flame, Lakes Alive has unveiled a stellar line-up of world-class artists for Mintfest, its showcase street arts festival, featuring contemporary dance, comedy, music, acrobatics, magic, juggling, ballet and fire.
Now in its sixth year, the acclaimed annual festival will include a village constructed of fire, a ballet of dancing trolleys and a fabulous contemporary circus act.
All the action will take place on the streets and parks of the Lakeland town and most of the performances are free.
Circus Ronaldo, who wowed audiences two years ago with Circenses, return to Mintfest with a new show, Amortale. The atmosphere and childlike imagery of marionette theatre is sure to provide an evening of spectacle and visual delight.
Another highlight will be Cirque Del Mundo who will set temperatures rising with Fire Village Royale. The Belgian artists plan to transform Noble’s Rest into a fiery paradise complete with performances and flaming installations.
Characters inhabiting this magical world include a crazy chef brewing up explosive dishes and a knight with a burning head and sword.
From award-winning Australian choreographer Shaun Parker in collaboration with London's C12 Dance Theatre comes Trolleys, a new ballet starring five supermarket trolleys.
Set to a pounding electro-acoustic score, the trolleys spin and glide in this highly physical performance of contemporary dance and acrobatics.
Julie Tait, the director of Kendal Arts International which creates Lakes Alive with Manchester International Arts, says: “We're thrilled to announce this year's festival programme which is brimming with wild and wonderful street acts that will amaze and enthral audiences of all ages. Kendal will be buzzing with performances from all over the world for three celebratory days of entertainment.
“We'd also like to add a special thanks to all of the people who joined our fundraising efforts to ensure our sixth Mintfest is as vibrant, exhilarating and ground-breaking as ever.”
Since it's launch six years ago, Mintfest has quickly become one of the must-see events on the UK's arts scene. The Guardian said in 2011: “ A weekend of performance that is one of the friendliest and most enjoyable on the outdoor calendar. Mintfest is a reminder of the power of street arts to bring a community together and attract audiences from outside the area.”
Mintfest is the final event in the Lakes Alive 2012 programme. Lakes Alive is Cumbria's unique contribution to the Legacy Trust UK programme which was set up to build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Other stand out acts in this year's festival programme include White Suit, by Helen Chadwick which combines close harmony singing with physical performance to tell the story of a landmine survivor. Its surreal theatrical storytelling is a ferocious satire on the brutality and hypocrisy of the arms trade, featuring singing armaments and dancing arms dealers in a highly stylized song-theatre performance
Inextremiste features a giant red ball, several large calor gas canisters and a very disturbed man who meet on a trampoline. The result is a very odd laugh a minute show with skills that will take your breath away.
Children will love Little Universe, a brand new piece of theatre for under 5’s by Fevered Sleep. Part dance, part installation, Little Universe sends four ‘scientists’ off to explore the universe. Together they will discover particles, molecules, orbits and collisions, making shapes and patterns - even using elastic to portray a force.
Markmark Productions will bring two shows to Mintfest, including their latest Mega La Maniax packed with new stunts, tricks, explosions and jokes.
Musical acts include Ahab whose harmony-infused vocals impressed at festivals across Europe last year and the flamboyant guitarists De Feugo who play flamenco and rumba-based rhythms.
Kakatsitsi will share the traditional music of the Ga tribe in Southern Ghana and there will be a wild mix of melodies from the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band from Rajastani.
Most of the Mintfest programme is free and is suitable for all of the family.
All of the latest Mintfest news can be found at www.lakesalive.org
Lakes Alive is one of three annual programmes commissioned for WE PLAY, the Northwest cultural legacy programme for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
WE PLAY is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games. The project is led by the Arts Council England Northwest on behalf of a new regional partnership.