About Leap 2017

Welcome to LEAP 2017; a festival of dance celebrating its 25th anniversary in Liverpool. We’re delighted to bring LEAP 2017 to MAKE; 18,000 sq. feet of warehouse in the vibrant North Docks creative hub, only a 15min walk from Liverpool city centre. The whole festival would not have been possible without the collaborative support of Unity Theatre. For LEAP’s 25th year we’ve made MDI’s biggest dream a reality; to create a pop-up dance house and present the best of the UK’s dance all under one roof
– a first for MDI and the city!

MDI’s mission has always been to inspire people through the wonderful artform of dance and it is that commitment that drives LEAP’s provocative and tantalising agenda. To shine a spotlight on the city of Liverpool through dance, I have chosen the theme of camouflage for this year’s festival. We want to bring dance out of the shadows, explore the hearts and minds of our communities and discover what makes Liverpool move.

LEAP 2017 is a creative catalyst and world-class festival, all about “being noticed”, enabling us to grow a scene and thriving community for dance in one dedicated space. This year’s ambitious and bold programme has been curated in response to the fundamental concept of “being seen” and considering the impact of “being unseen” and what impact that has, on a city, a region, a country and the world.

We will open with award-winning choreographer, Gary Clark’s latest production, COAL, a prolific statement that sets the scene for the festival with untold stories – celebrating a life of work and courage. Identity and what we choose to see and show the world can be explored through the work of Project O and Hetain Patel. How much do we own what we show?

Barrowland Ballet and Stop Gap consider what family life really is and how the choices we make or change through loss can impact on how we choose to live our lives.

Being invisible as a positive thing, creating the unexpected and placing dance differently is a big part of the camouflage theme in 2017 and is demonstrated through our community dance events, Vital, Community Dance Day and Artists Take Over.

Join us and join in as we take a massive leap to bring some of the most inspiring and critically- acclaimed dancers and choreographers to the city, while showcasing our own talented, ground-breaking artists based right here, such as Mary Pearson, Felix Ologbosere, Helen McCarron, Wired Aerial and Taciturn dance.

Most importantly, LEAP 2017 would not have been possible without the 130 individuals who kindly backed our Kickstarter campaign. To all of them, our sincere thanks and we look forward to seeing you at LEAP 2017. Thanks to Morecrofts, Moore Media, IDK Foundation, LJMU, Wired Aerial Theatre, Edge Hill University, The Granada Foundation and Garrick and EM Wethered Charitable Trusts for their generous donations and support, and to everyone who has helped us in bringing dance to new places and new spaces.

Karen Gallagher MBE Artistic Director
and the MDI Team: Adam Cooper, Maxine Brown, Jennie Hale, Paul Doyle
Technical Support: Fiona Hilton, Phil Saunders

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