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Coventry Arts festival to reach new heights

Festival of Imagineers, Coventry City Centre, September 17-22.

Tickets have gone on sale for the fifth Festival of Imagineers, Coventry's annual celebration of art, design and engineering that takes over the city centre for five days.

Organisers Imagineer have announced some of this year's highlights, including BLOCK, a collaboration between Leamington dance company Motionhouse and Cardiff-based NoFit State Circus, in which performers and dancers play with and explore up to twenty concrete-like blocks scattered in the Coventry Cathedral ruins.

BLOCK runs for a single performance on Wednesday 19 September at 8pm, but another of the highlights, Rear View from IOU, runs from Thursday 20 September to Saturday 22 September, with performances throughout the day. The streets of Coventry are the venues for Rear View, with audiences taking their place on a custom-made conversion of a double decker bus, wearing positional sound headphones. Their interactive experience begins with a life-drawing class and becomes an adventure about a woman's life, led by performance poets Cecilia Knapp and Jemima Foxtrot.

The final festival event on Saturday 22 September is a celebration of Imagineer's twenty-year collaboration with Polish outdoor arts company, Teatr Biuro Podrozy. To mark the forthcoming commemorations for the end of the First World War, the company will be staging its best-known work, Carmen Funebre, a visceral exposure of the horrors of war, in the Cathedral ruins.

Claire Maddocks, the festival's Creative Producer, said, "We are delighted to announce BLOCK as part of our programme of events, alongside Rear View and Carmen Funebre. These three diverse, exciting and cutting edge performances will bring the city to life in ways we've not seen before and promise to create a series of memorable moments throughout the festival week."

Throughout that week, the festival offers many free events as well, from exploring behind the scenes at Imagineers' creative headquarters, in the old Daimler power house off Sandy Lane, to exhibitions and talks at venues like the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and sound installations in Broadgate.

Tickets are available via the Imagineers website, at www.festivalofimagineers.co.uk.

Picture: Dan Tucker

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