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Con TattoAnother festival weekend visit took me to Birmingham, where the Hippodrome stages a series of events in its local environs and across the city. This particular day of Summer in Southside was dance themed and included lots of high-quality work. By closing a few streets, the festival makes sudden interventions in the area around the theatre and a rolling programme allows you to see everything. Opening the day, Da Motus’ interactive Con Tatto did indeed get a few brave souls dancing in front of the theatre early on, only after they’d made clever use of street furniture as their dance stage. C-12’s Trolleys and Marc Brew’s delicate and sensual Nocturne brought two very different tones to the theatre loading bay, while Mimbre and some local hip hop dancers energised the enclosed bar area. Joli Vyann’s Don’t Drink and Dance stopped surprised theatre-goers in their tracks on their way in to see Lion King and Chutney was a bold attempt at detailed storytelling. It’s an easy festival to navigate, with good natured staff and a clear timetable and it’s great to see so much interesting and engaging work in one hit.

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