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April 2, 2012

At 1pm on 18 May 2012 - the day the Olympic Torch arrives in the UK - thousands of schoolchildren in the UK and across the world, including many in Cumbria will join together to take part in a world-record breaking dance, created especially for them by Wayne McGregor CBE with an original score, Céleste,  by Scanner and Joel Cadbury. The Record Attempt is a worldwide warm-up for Big Dance 2012, which is to run from 7-15 July 2012 and is part of the London 2012 Festival.

With the support of the British Council, the dance will take place simultaneously in over 1,000 schools throughout the UK and across Europe, USA, South America, South-East Asia, the Middle East and the Far East. Each school will learn the same piece of choreography created by Wayne McGregor which is available to download from the Big Dance website now on

The current world record for the largest simultaneous multi venue dance is held by the Netherlands, with 1,472 locations and 264,188 people dancing.

Big Dance is one of the world's biggest and most influential dance festivals, and this year it is one of the highlights of London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. In 2012, there will be events across the whole country, building up to Big Dance Week from 7 - 15 July.

The programme will feature dance in the streets, in theatres and schools and right into the heart of communities all over the country. The UK's leading choreographers are taking part, including Wayne McGregor, who will create the centrepiece of Big Dance: a mass dance for over 1,000 dancers in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 14 July. Channel 4 will broadcast a series of specially commissioned new films made in partnership with BAFTA and Big Dance, showcasing young choreographic and directing talent.

Big Dance in London has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. The programme is delivered by the Mayor of London, Arts Council England and Foundation for Community Dance with a network of Big Dance Hubs, leading dance organisations around the UK.

Jacqueline Rose, Director of Big Dance 2012, said: "The global response to the Big Dance Record Attempt emphasises the power of dance as an art form to communicate and how it can unite communities.  For the dancers and spectators, 1pm on 18th May will be the moment that everyone will be expressing their creativity through movement that crosses all cultural boundaries."

Wayne McGregor said: "The Schools Pledge is a fantastic and fun opportunity for young people of all ages to learn a new dance inspired by the Olympics and to perform it as part of our world record attempt. On the day the Olympic Torch arrives in the UK, young dancers throughout Britain and in our partner countries worldwide will share a unique moment in time, dancing together and in unison, sharing our passion for the art form we love. Everyone, take up the challenge, learn the dance, teach it to your friends, your class and your school and on Friday May 18th be a world record breaker!"

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: "Not everyone can compete at the Games, but we want as many people in London and across the world as possible to feel a part of this incredible year. I'm delighted to support Big Dance, which is already hugely popular in the capital and a fantastic way to join in the 2012 celebrations. Even if the youngsters taking part in this exciting event won't be competing for medals, it is a unique chance to aim for a new world record, which I hope will inspire them to participate long after the Games are over."

Moira Sinclair, London Executive Director of Arts Council England, said:
"This is our first glimpse of Big Dance 2012 and a world record would be an incredible start to its Olympic celebrations. Dance is a universal language and brings joy to millions, so it seems apt to have thousands of people across continents uniting through the work of one of our finest choreographers."

Moira Swinbank OBE, Chief Executive Legacy Trust UK said that "Big Dance has already led the way in opening up dance for everyone, and this record attempt is a fantastic way to welcome the Olympic Torch to the UK and get people across the globe dancing. Legacy Trust UK is delighted to be supporting Big Dance and will continue to work with Big Dance partners to ensure that the programme leaves a lasting legacy for everyone involved."

Media Enquiries including images:
Jane Quinn, Bolton & Quinn +44 20 7221 5000

Notes to editors:

 • 'Big Dance is London's Legacy Trust UK programme delivered by the Mayor of London and Arts Council England. A national programme is co-ordinated by Foundation for Community Dance and is supported by major organisations including: Creative Scotland, Sport England, NHS London, London Councils, Youth Dance England, Council for Dance Education and Training, Dance Champions, Sport and Recreation Alliance and the British Council. Big Dance is one of the world's biggest and most influential dance initiative delivered through a network of the UK's leading dance organisations: City Moves, Dance City, Dance South West, Dance4, Dancebase, DanceEast, Dancehouse, DanceXchange, Dundee Dance Partnership, Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre, East London Dance, Eden Court Theatre, English National Ballet, Greenwich Dance, Macrobert Arts Centre, Merseyside Dance Initiative, Sadler's Wells, Siobhan Davies Dance, South East Dance and Yorkshire Dance

 • Legacy Trust UK is an independent charity set up to create a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from London 2012 in communities across the UK.

The Trust is funded by a £40 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund (£29m), Department for Culture Media and Sport (£6m) and Arts Council England (£5m), and is a Principal Funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival.

 • As part of his commitment to a lasting legacy for London following the 2012 Games, the Mayor aims to support increased access to and participation in sport and cultural activities across the capital. 'Cultural Metropolis' set outs the Mayor's strategy for supporting arts and culture in the capital and is out for public consultation. 'A Sporting Future for London', published last year, sets out the Mayor's vision to create a fitter, healthier, more active London, backed up by a £15.5 million investment in grass‐roots sport. For more information, go to

 • Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people's lives. We support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and a further £0.85 billion from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

 • The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people. The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummer's Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK's world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival. For more details on the programme and to sign up for information visit

 • The British Council is the UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in over 100 countries in the arts, education and English and in 2010/11 we engaged face to face with 30 million people and reached 578 million. We have 6,800 staff worldwide. Our total turnover in 2010/11 was £693 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was £190 million. The remainder was generated through trading activities such as English language teaching. For every £1 of taxpayer money invested we earn £2.65 in additional income. For more information, please visit:

 • The Big Dance Schools Pledge is a partner project for Get Set, the London 2012 education programme. It has also been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark.

 • Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi award-winning British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and groundbreaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. He is Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadlerʼs Wells Theatre in London and Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet (appointed 2006). In January 2011, McGregor was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for his Services to Dance. Earlier appointments include the government's first Youth Dance Champion (2008-2010) and a Research Fellow in the Experimental Psychology department of Cambridge University (2004).
McGregor is a frequent creator of new work for La Scala, Paris Opera Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, New York City Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet; as well as movement director for theatre and film. He recently choreographed the Grammy-nominated Lotus Flower video for Radiohead. In 2012/13 McGregor will premiere new works for The Royal Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet (a new Rite Of Spring).

 • Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner is a conceptual artist, writer, and composer working in London. His works cross the experimental terrain between sound, space, image and form. Since 1991 he has been active in sonic art, producing concerts, installations and recordings. The albums Mass Observation (1994), Delivery (1997), and The Garden is Full of Metal (1998) were hailed as innovative and inspirational works. He scored the hit musical comedy Kirikou & Karaba (2007), premiered his six-hour show Of Air and Ear (2008) at the Royal Opera House in London, designed the sound for the new Philips Wake-Up Light (2009), and in 2011 premiered his film collaboration Sakoko with Hussein Chalayan at Paris Fashion week for Vogue Magazine. Committed to working with cutting edge practitioners he has collaborated with Bryan Ferry, Radiohead, Dangermouse, Laurie Anderson, The Royal Ballet, Wayne McGregor, Flanders Royal Ballet, Hermes, Steve McQueen, Philips Design, Mike Kelley, and Douglas Gordon. His work has been presented throughout the United States, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. He is currently Visiting Professor at Le Fresnoy National Centre for Contemporary Arts in France

 • Joel Cadbury is an accomplished singer, songwriter and producer. His first band 'South' were the first "guitar" band to sign to James Lavelle's 'Mo Wax' label in 1998. Dubbed an 'indie band with a dance aesthetic', South went on to release four studio albums to critical acclaim.
Joel works closely with 'Unkle' (the collaborative musical project founded by James Lavelle) He co-wrote and produced many of the songs on the albums 'Where Did The Night Fall', 'Another Night Out'.   In 2010 he became Musical Director of 'Unkle Live' with whom he had performed since 2007, co-ordinating many live 'Unkle' shows including performances at The Sydney Opera House and Brixton Academy. Film credits with composer Melissa Parmentier include Michael Winterbottom's dark and brooding noir epic 'The Killer Inside Me' and Simon Aboud's 'Comes A Bright Day'. He has also worked with Beth Orton, Nick Hemming (Leisure Society), Tim Elsenburg (Sweet Billy Pilgrim) and his 'Unkle' co-collaborator Gavin Clark.
In TV and advertising, he has worked with Paul Stoney and Ascher Nathan composing and producing music for clients including Bentley, Ford and Playstation.