THEATRE / On Theatre

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Indy Lifestyle Online
That emporium of culture, the South Bank Centre, is not a building greatly loved by all. But while consumers of art ignore its concrete facade and head for its galleries and auditoria, its annual free summer festival of outside art, The Great Outdoors, will make a virtue of its shortcomings.

Programmer Rachel Clare, whose interests lie in large-scale, outdoors and site-specific projects, has commissioned three British and three Spanish choreographers to make works for Mind The Gap (right, 6-7 Aug), a dance trail which exposes the hidden nooks and crannies of the building.

'I asked each of them to take into consideration the urban environment they were in. Certain aspects of it make an interesting starting-point for ideas, such as the angles of the architecture, or the fast flow of the river, which changes with the tide twice a day, contrasted with the immovable, solid mass of concrete of the building,' says Clare. 'There are so many possibilities outside, but the tradition of outdoor events here doesn't compare to Europe.'

For this reason, the season is truly international, featuring Japan-based group of artists and film-makers, Housewatch (25 Jun), Belgian choreographer Alain Platel (1-3 Jul), Teatro Buendia from Cuba (20-21 Aug) and the French company Ilotopie (13-14 Aug), which performs with lurid body-paint and expanding foam. 'I see it as escaping the confines of an internal space. And I want to show work with as much integrity and cultural significance outside as inside,' she says.

The Great Outdoors: every weekend until 21 Aug (071-928 8800).

(Photograph omitted)

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