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Babis Alexiadis - The River Project

Subscribe to RSS RSSMonday, 19th July, 2010

Babis Alexiadis - The River Project

1 City, 16 Artists, 138 Performers, 1 Film

Date: Saturday 7th August 2010
Time: 6:30 - 9:30pm
Venue: Retort House, 9 Gas Street, Birmingham, B1 2JT

This one day event is the conclusion of an 18 month artistic process that is The River Project.  Lead artist Babis Alexiadis along with 16 other artists and 138 performers from Birmingham have worked together to create an installation, including film, dance and performance.  Dance rehearsals and animation workshops have culminated in this exciting event that celebrates heritage and identity through dance.

The exhibition consists of screenings of new work, including the film with a soundtrack performed live by internationally acclaimed band Pram, live dance performances, a video installation of seven documentaries capturing the making of The River Project and a time-lapse video about Retort House - the exhibition venue - capturing its architectural beauty and historical character.

The River Project engaged with people from 7 diverse communities in Birmingham and created a film using dance as a storytelling technique to represent all voices from different age groups, ethnicities and genders. The participating individuals had the responsibility to choreograph a new dance piece with the assistance of a professional choreographer and dancers. The theme of the film is based on the participants' experience in understanding dance and using it as a form of expression to tell their own stories. 

For the lead artist Babis Alexiadis each group represents a river, embracing its shape, characteristics, colour and surroundings.  As nature commands, the small rivers stream into a bigger river; this culturally and characteristically integrated river is Birmingham. 
Following the journey of the The River Project, it was clear that the quality of the work created and the participant?s achievements and commitment deserved a public presentation and celebration.

The exhibition will be hosted at Retort House, a unique Grade II and Grade II* listed building, dating from 1822, measuring an epic 18,922 sq ft.  One of Retort House?s main features is the Georgian cast iron trussed roof structure, an elaborate and unique tracery set against the backdrop of original brickwork elevations.  The building is unique and situated in the heart of Birmingham's city centre.  This is the first time it has been used for an arts event.  Both The River Project and Retort House underline the importance of heritage, culture and participation in the region.

Admission to the event is free.

Visit The River project website at

And our new blog, covering the progress of the project with video bites, photos, and updates:

The River Project poster image