WITH VIDEO: This year’s Brighton Festival will rip people away from their TVs and their pizzas, the guest director has pledged.
Speaking at the launch of the 2014 programme, renowned choreographer Hofesh Shechter promised “buzz” and “excitement” at this year’s event.
Festival chief executive, Andrew Comben, added the event would be the “richest and most eclectic yet”.
Some 448 performances are scheduled between May 3 and 25 including 37 premieres, exclusives and co-commissions along with 26 free events.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Shechter said he was “honoured” to have been selected for the role.
He told the Brighton Dome audience yesterday that his initial reason for accepting was a somewhat selfish one.
He said: “The first thing that came to my head was actually how happy I would be to see the whole festival.
“I’ve always felt envious of 65-year-olds who can take the time to do it. So yeah, I don’t have to be 65, and that’s a great thing.”
Speaking about the programme, which is heavily influenced by his love of dance and choreography, he said he tried to include acts which would “challenge us to question ourselves and the place we live in”.
He added: “It’s always great to create a sort of ceremony, a situation where lots of people gather together to see art.
“I think that having a festival creates a buzz and an excitement and I think it is easier to come out and see art that way.”
Mr Shechter, who runs his own internationally acclaimed dance company, started his career at the Jerusalem Academy of Dance and Music.
He moved to the UK in 2002 and with his profile growing his group was named resident company at the Brighton Dome in 2008.
Speaking about his links tp the city, he described it as the “perfect” place to make art.
He said: “I love being in Brighton. I like the atmosphere in Brighton. It feels like a very vibrant place but you can also find peace in it.
“When I create here I feel that I can find interaction with the city and with people if I’m looking for it.
“It has a really good combination of feeling like a place where something happens and a quiet place that is sort of perfect for making art.”
- Don’t miss The Argus on Monday for a free copy of the Festival brochure.