Sunday 06 April 2014

Doha, 6 April 2014: British Festival 2014 organisers today announced that The Urban Playground Team– the UK’s original and premier performance-parkour company – will give six free public performances in Doha starting on 10 April. The Urban Playground Team’s performances will be the latest opportunity for individuals and institutions in Qatar to experience the unique cultural offering of the UK, as British Festival 2014 nears its finish.

The Urban Playground Team blend authentic Parkour – an urban art form also known as free running - with urban and contemporary dance for a unique act the group calls performance- parkour. The group will perform their show, The Inner City, at Souq Waqif (Al-Souq Street near the main Souq Waqif car park) over three days. The show mixes parkour, hip-hop and contemporary dance to tell the story of inner city workers rebelling against their environment in a show the whole family will enjoy. Audiences will also be invited to try some of the moves after the performances!

The shows will take place as follows: • Thursday 10 April: Shows at 19:00 and 20:30 • Friday 11 April and Saturday 12 April: Shows at 17:00 and 19:00 Whilst in Doha, the Urban Playground Team will also work with a number of different youth and community partners to offer workshops on Parkour – from basic Parkour movement skills for young participants to an advanced breakdancing masterclass.

Martin Hope, Director of British Council Qatar said, “This year the British Council is celebrating 80 years of bringing the UK’s unique cultural offering to the world. The Urban Playground has performed at many festivals in the UK and overseas and we are delighted to be able to bring them to Qatar for the first time, as part of the British Festival. Their performances and workshops will introduce this fun and engaging genre to a new audience in Qatar. Through performances such as these, the British Festival 2014 has cemented British Council Qatar’s reputation as a source for high-quality cultural and educational initiatives that appeal to a wide audience.”

UPG Team co-director Alister O’Loughlin, added, “Our work brings together the best elements of contemporary and urban dance with authentic parkour in a slapstick show for all the family. It’s really exciting for us to be working once again with the British Council and to bring the team for the first time to beautiful Doha."

During the Friday performances, the UPG team will be joined by the internationally renowned artist Rachel Gadsden, who will create a “live” performance artwork based on the UPG Team’s show.

For the latest updates on British Festival 2014, follow the British Council Qatar (@qaBritish) and the hashtag #BritFestQA on Twitter. The British Festival is sponsored by Qatar Shell and BAE Systems, and supported by many local partners such as Bhs, Debenhams, East India Company, Ezdan Mall, The Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt, Hackett, Hilton Hotel, Imperial Advertising, Intercontinental Doha – The City, Jo Malone, Molton Brown, LuLu Hypermarket Trading Group, Pizza Express, Renaissance Marriot Hotel and Spinneys.

Notes to Editor

Parkour is a sport that involves overcoming physical obstacles – usually in an urban environment - by running, climbing and jumping. The art of Parkour focuses on safe, fluid and efficient movements. The Urban Playground has worked with Parkour in a performance context since 2003, and with co-founder of the global parkour movement, Malik Diouf, since 2006. The team has performed at the City of London Festival, and with the British Council at the Muscat Festival in Oman and most recently in Kuwait.

About the British Council

The British Council has a long-standing presence and has a strong brand in Qatar. Our work in English language teaching, the arts, education and social development has undergone enormous growth over the last three years. It is highly valued by local stakeholders who understand how it supports Qatar’s ambition to be a knowledge hub for the region.

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 more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes. British Council Qatar on Twitter: British Council Qatar on Facebook: