That’s a wrap on GDIF 2021!
With over 200 performances reaching over 70,000 people, with 60 UK and international companies performing across 20 different locations, GDIF 2021 was a hugely welcome return to the celebratory, joyful festival spirit we’re known for.
Performances engaged communities on their doorsteps across Greenwich, Woolwich, Thamesmead, Plumstead, Charlton, and the Royal Docks, with co-created installations and events such as Healing Together and Mystery Bird.
We Are Watching and Borealis brought together local and global perspectives with an opening ceremony and spectacular installations across the Royal Borough of Greenwich addressing climate change. We welcomed back international artists with a focus on theatre and outdoor arts from Flanders, as well as featuring artists from Italy, Israel, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
Reflecting on what we’ve learned during the pandemic, site specific theatre and dance productions responded movingly to Black Lives Matter with a new work-in-progress production by Mojisola Adebayo, Family Tree, Joseph Toonga’s Born to Protest, and a full-scale dance production of Jeanefer Jean-Charles’s Black Victorians.
Disabled artists were also centre stage, with Nikki Charlesworth’s What Happened to You, Candoco’s A Graceful Act of Stupidity, and Stopgap’s Frock, embedded across the programme. Our extensive access provision also ensured that the festival provided a journey back to the arts for Deaf and disabled audience members.
We returned to the stunning locations of Canary Wharf, the City of London, and the Royal Docks, whilst also opening up new landscapes across Thamesmead Waterfront with Blue Remembered Hills, put on the first ever performance in the building about to open as Woolwich Works with Balsam, and celebrated the anticipated launch of Greenwich Peninsula’s new Design District with Dance by Design, staying true to our mission of cultural placemaking and community connections.
This was a festival for all of us: a festival of connection, inclusion, hope and healing.