21 June 2012
Explosion of creative events to greet London’s Olympic visitors
Almost 700 free performances by international musicians, dancers and visual artists will take place across London and beyond during the Olympics. This is thanks to More Than Gold, the agency helping churches make the most of the Games.
Included in more than 30 venues for this explosion of creativity are Southwark Cathedral, Westminster Abbey Green, Methodist Westminster Central Hall and All Souls Church at Oxford Circus.
The 40 teams of artists coming to London involve about 440 individuals from more than 30 nations. Among the talent on display will be an Indian musician playing a multi-stringed guitar with built-in bongo drums, an international folk-rock band, a Hawaiian-based dance troupe and a children's ballet company.
Julie Spence has pulled all this talent together for More Than Gold's creative and performing arts team. She said: "The array of original talent from both performing and visual artists is quite staggering. Visitors are in for an absolute treat."
Julie added: "This is about more than great performances and outstanding art. All involved use their talents to provoke questions about life and faith and point to Jesus as being key to having them answered."
Among those involved in More Than Gold's contribution to welcoming visitors are –
Benny Prasad - an extraordinary musician who has created his own instrument, the Bentar, which includes a traditional six string guitar plus a 22-string harp, 20 sitar strings, a bongo and a tabla. Benny has taken his music to more than 60 countries, playing to large audiences including kings, parliaments, dignitaries and celebrities.
Heartbridge - a performing arts company based on the Hawaiian island of Kona. Heartbridge is a contemporary dance and performance company of over 25 young adults from more than ten different nations. Their latest production, Coming Home, has been performed in over a dozen countries including Japan, China, Israel and Jordan.
Liz and the Lions - a six-piece acoustic folk band with members from England, Germany and the US. They blend their individual musical backgrounds to create a distinctive sound that has been welcomed in acoustic cafés, classical halls and Céilidh festivals.
Arise Children's Ballet from Ontario, Canada - they work to professional standards, creating programmes to perform in and around their community.