INTO THE LIGHT - Gary Clarke and Yorkshire Dance present celebratory dance piece for LGBT 50


A spectacular new dance piece by award-winning choreographer Gary Clarke will present a fast-forward version of LGBT history, in a moving and riotous performance commemorating the 50 year anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. Yorkshire Dance has produced INTO THE LIGHT for Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s week-long LGBT 50 programme. It will be a celebratory centrepiece to Duckie Summer Tea Party, taking place at Queen Victoria Square in Hull on Saturday 29 July.  

INTO THE LIGHT looks back at landmark events in LGBT+ history over five decades: from a secret world in which homosexuality was illegal through to present day, as thousands of people join together for this vibrant family-friendly performance in the bright, open air.

Yorkshire Dance associate artist Gary Clarke (COAL) brings together a mixed cast of professional and non-professional dancers: uniting contemporary dance artists Harry Theaker, TC HowardEleanor PerryDaniel Gordon,Tamar DraperPatrick ZizaDom Coffey and Natali McCleary with 42 people from Hull ranging from under 16s to over 60s and first-time performers to those with a passion for dance including Greg Langley (18), a Pride supporter and Young Stonewall member; Caro Ullyart (65) a retired actor who has lived through 50 years of changes to legislation and experienced the impact it has had on friends; Frank Mathers (20), taking part to raise awareness about . All 42 are taking part to have fun, raise awareness or support the LGBT+ community, feed-in experiences or memories from their own lifetimes, and be performers and collaborators in this unique dance piece.

Artistic director and choreographer Gary Clarke says,

Into The Light is a celebration and acknowledgement of this 50th year anniversary from when homosexuality was decriminalised, looking back through time to show how things have changed and paying tribute to the landmark events and individuals whose influence has shaped the future. From gay marriage and civil partnerships, the AIDS epidemic and the first gay Pride, through to times when homosexuality was secretive; we’ll see a radical change through the piece. It’s an artwork – a clash of live music, colour and dance – but there will be a political edge, as we educate as well as entertain.

It’s inspiring working with communities mixing in with professional dancers, and for the LGBT community to take to the streets of Hull to celebrate who they are - and to work across all ages and backgrounds bringing them together with a professional cast - is incredible. Into The Light is a true collaboration and a great celebration of how far we’ve come.”

The 30-minute performance will flow through the crowds at Duckie Summer Tea Party and will take place twice during the afternoon. At the very end of the performance, the thousands of people in the square will be invited to join in with a mass dance. A video tutorial has been released for thousands of participants to take place in a mass dance [] Two public workshops will be held in Hull for people to drop-in and learn the moves from the team in advance of the performances.  

Wieke Eringa, Yorkshire Dance artistic director and CEO, says

“Yorkshire Dance is thrilled to produce this new piece as part of Hull UK City Of Culture 2017’s LGBT 50 programme. Into The Light will bring together the people of Hull and professional dancers to share their stories and collaborate in a vibrant celebration of this landmark moment. As an organisation it’s important to us that dance performance includes diverse people, diverse bodies and ‘untold’ stories and we support artists to collaborate and make great work with performers from all walks of life. All ages and all abilities can join in – get inspired, do what they can, and get involved in this spectacular and unique event.”