LONDON.- The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed details for this year's EAST festival, which returns on Thursday 4 March and runs until Tuesday 9 March. Over six days more than 100 events will showcase the vibrant and unique cultural life of East London, an area that has become a magnet for Londoners and tourists alike.
EAST is brought together by the Mayor's Office in collaboration with different creative and cultural partners and features a variety of events and projects that draw inspiration from themes or issues relevant to the area. Key for 2010 are architecture, minimalism and the Asian subcontinent, which are explored through music, cinema, theatre, visual arts, literature and even sport.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'I'm delighted to see the return of the East festival. This year promises to be a real box of delights with a range of world class artists, exciting performances and activities that range from building your own home to bicycle polo in a festival that showcases East London's brightly burning creative spirit. All hail East!'
EAST includes contributions from the likes of cricketer Monty Panesar, historian Dan Cruickshank, playwright Philip Ridley, cook Pinky Lilani, plus music from the acclaimed Portico Quartet, the London Chamber Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Cycle East will take people on a tour of east London venues by bike, offering the chance to catch Mercury nominated Sweet Billy Pilgrim, award winning Soweto Kinch and the London Gypsy Orchestra for free.
Song East will also feature free live gigs at different venues bringing together Muntu Valdo, whose music mixes the blues, African traditions, loops and samples, folk visionary Alasdair Roberts (Drag City) and Chicago's Anni Rossi whose hypnotic vocals juxtapose with the destructive plucking of her viola.
With Commonwealth Day coming during EAST (8 March) the festival will also have its very own Commonwealth Games, offering the chance to take part in as well as watch Bicycle Polo (a demonstration sport in the London 1908 Olympic Games and still enormously popular in India), Kabbadi (involving team tagging and wrestling) and the tabletop game Carrom.
Songs in the Key of London at the Barbican features the likes of Phil Daniels, Chris Difford, Blaine Harrison, Jools Holland, James Hunter, Mike Lindsay, Becky Jacobs, Natty, Rico Rodriguez, Andy Serkis, Chas Smash, Suggs, Glenn Tilbrook and Kathryn Williams.
EAST will also offer the opportunity to build your own ideal East London home, take cooking lessons, participate in a series of specially mapped bicycle tours and explore different aspects of East London on foot.
The Mayor London Boris Johnson said: 'I'm delighted to see the return of the East festival. This year promises to be a real box of delights with a range of world class artists, exciting performances and activities that range from building your own home to bicycle polo in a festival that showcases East London's brightly burning creative spirit. All hail East!'
Now in its fourth year, EAST is an initiative of the Greater London Authority delivered in partnership with Visit London, Barbican, Museum of London, Museum in Docklands London, Rich Mix, Serious, Hammersons, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Whitechapel Gallery.
EAST 2010 highlights include:
Building East London: Curated in collaboration with art historian Dan Cruickshank, this series of talks, walks and debates at the Bishopsgate Institute explores the east London architecture of the past 300 years.
Moonfleece: Philip Ridley's new play is set in an East London tower block and explores personal and political issues of family, love, longing, race, sexuality and money.
Ron Arad: As part of the Barbican's Ron Arad season, a series of specially created events around the East Festival, including 1980s: From Readymades to Industrial Production.
Do something different: The Barbican weekend features a range of events themed around Architecture including Home Sweet Home where audiences are invited to form their own cardboard community decorating their own cardboard home and interacting with 'neighbours'.
Spitalfields to London Fields A Cultural and Architectural Medley: A specially designed East London cycling tour.
London Chamber Orchestra: Inspired by Architecture: Student composers from across the UK were invited by the LCO to respond to two award-winning new buildings in Hackney. The best six scores are workshopped and performed by the LCO at the Octagon, Queen Mary University.
Is creativity in architecture dead? This year's East Festival debate is organised by Open House and features Alison Brooks (winner of the 2008 Stirling Prize) and RIBA journal editor Hugh Pearman.
Celebrate the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games: To mark the Commonwealth Games this October, Tongues on Fire present two sporting films at Rich Mix Chak de India (Hockey) and Iqbal (Cricket) Monty Panesar introduces the latter.
When is a game a sport? The Royal Commonwealth Society's debate on the 26 February previewing our very own East Games
East Commonwealth Games: Opening Ceremony: No big sporting event would be complete without its own sporting ceremony. Come to Spitalfields on Friday 5 March for bagpipers, Dhol drummers, musicians and even a red bus.
The Manganiyar Seduction: Indian director Roysten Abel brings together Muslim musicians from Rajastan, creating a magical show with an array of choreography, song and rhythm at the Barbican.
St Ethelburga's Delhi Dharbar: St Ethelburga's in Bishopsgate hosts a programme of events exploring Delhi's religious diversity through music, stories, architecture and food with santoor (an ancient Indian instrument similar to the hammered dulcimer) maestro Harjinderpal Singh, Baluji Shrivastav's new Delhi 6 project, stories from Seema Anand and Pinky Lilani's food.
Where three dreams cross Kuch Kuch night: Complementing the Whitechapel's major exhibition on Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani photography, DJ Ritu brings the original Bollywood Party Night to the space.
LSO Discovery Adams Festival: During March, LSO Discovery is running a John Adams Festival with events linked to the London Symphony Orchestras concerts. On 7 March there is a Discovery Day offering the chance to find out more about the composer through an open rehearsal, talk and chamber music performances. There will be free preconcert performances of Adams' works, with Guildhall School musicians. Also part of the Barbicans John Adams season.
Portico Quartet: Melodic, rhythmic music that mixes the inspiration of Philip Glass and Steve Reich with contemporary jazz at the Barbican.
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot: Installation by French artist in the Curve gallery at the Barbican takes the form of a walk-through aviary inhabited by 40 zebra finches.