FROM OUR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR :  COME AND SEE THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON

 One of the most enchanting sights in the night sky is a full moon.  For thousands of years, the moon was vital for ancient cultures in tracking the passing of the months and helping them to decide when to plant and harvest crops.  But the full moon, especially, has also inspired writers, artists and poets for centuries.

Even today, how often are we captivated by the moon?  I, for one, always read the articles about a forthcoming blue moon, or a supermoon, or blood moon, or harvest moon, not to mention of course the eclipses of the moon.  And how often do we tell children stories of ‘the man in the moon’?

The Museum of the Moon

On Saturday, we will have the Museum of the Moon at Bell Square.  The Museum of the Moon is an artwork, an installation, by Luke Jerram.  It is a huge, 7 metre diameter, replica of the moon.  Its surface is based on photographs obtained during NASA space missions, so it really is an exact replica!

Photo by @edsimmons_ @visitgreenwich.JPG

The far side of the moon

Wherever we are, in London or New York or Sydney, when we look at the moon, we always see the same features, the same craters and patterns.  We always see the same side of the moon, the side closest to earth – what we might call the ‘near side’ of the moon.  We never see the ‘far side’ of the moon, though, wherever we are in the world.

In 1968, Apollo 8, the second manned spaceflight mission in the United States’ Apollo space programme, was the first space craft to orbit the moon – and the 3 astronauts on that mission were the first humans to see the ‘far side’ of the moon directly for themselves.  Fifty years on, though, most of us will still never see the ‘far side’ of the moon!

So, the Museum of the Moon, hanging over Bell Square, allows us to see not just the near side which we are familiar with – but also the far side.  There will be grass on the Square and you can sit down or lie back and gaze at the moon.

You can also see a performance of Orbis in the afternoon at 3.00 pm or at night at 8.00 pm.  Orbis is a visually stunning dance duet by Humanhood, a company that performed at Bell Square last year with Nomadis.  This new show looks at the relationship between humankind and the moon.  It is like a contemporary ritual, performed in stunning black cloaks, and revisiting the mystical place the moon holds in the history of human culture.  This will surely be a rather special performance with the moon hanging directly above.

Up above in the sky, the (real) moon will be almost full.  This full moon, nearest to the autumnal equinox, is the Harvest Moon.  The Harvest Moon is known for being particularly bright and early to rise.

Come and see the moon at Bell Square.  Our moon will ‘rise’ at 10.00 am and remain until 9.00 pm.  It is fascinating to look at in daylight, but especially beautiful to see it bright and illuminated when it gets dark.  On Saturday, dusk is at 7.00 pm.

From our Artistic Director: Come and Create Something Beautiful in Hounslow!

Over the years, we have had many events at Bell Square which have involved local people getting directly involved in the show.  They are always popular, and usually quite special.  On Saturday, I’m looking forward to welcoming Stalker Teatro with their project, Steli.  Everyone who would like to get involved can come and help build some beautiful, coloured structures together on the Square.

From our Artistic Director: In Krakow

It’s Sunday night in Krakow.  I’ve been here for a few days now, visiting the Ulica festival.  Ulica means ‘street’ in Polish and this is a festival of theatre on the streets and squares of Krakow.

I'm always looking for the best shows for next year at Bell Square, and I go to festivals to see around 25 shows in 3-4 days.  Festivals, though, are also a great opportunity to meet new artists and talk to other programmers, often from all over the world, and to be inspired by new ideas and new people.

From our Artistic Director: Media Manipulation & the Arab Spring

On 14 July, Catalan artists Insectotropics return to Bell Square with a performance of The Legend of the Burning Man.  This is a searching investigation into how our understanding of world events is manipulated by media.  It follows the story of how a local incident in a small, rural Tunisian town sparked protests and revolutions across an entire region that became known as The Arab Spring. 

Let's celebrate 250 years of circus!

FROM OUR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Introduction
2018 is the 250th anniversary of the circus and we’ll be celebrating with some fabulous events at Bell Square this summer!

The Birth of Circus
Despite circus being mentioned in Greek and Roman times, the word really only referred to the ‘circular’ amphitheatres used for public performances.  Circus as we know it started in London in 1768.

Bell Square starts the season with Akademi performing Sufi:Zen

Well wasn't May 19 just the perfect weather for a Royal Wedding and perhaps even an FA Cup Final? And of course, it was even more perfect for our first event of the year at Bell Square, featuring Akademi and the very popular Sufi:Zen.

You can check out the daytime performance in this Facebook Live video below - unusually the dancers were wearing shoes and the reason was because the black material on the staged area was very hot due to the sun beating down on it all day. The evening event proved to be a bit cooler and we were delighted to host large crowds for both events.

From our Artistic Director: A Preview of the Spring & Summer Season

Come to an amazing array of outdoor performance from the UK & abroad. Bell Square returns for 2018 with a packed programme of amazing outdoor performance.  

From May to August, you can see 8 world-class shows at our permanent outdoor arts space in Hounslow.

These extraordinary shows come from some of the best artists in the UK and from across Europe – in the first few months, we have shows from France and Italy, Belgium and Catalonia, as well as from the UK.  The programme also brings many other influences from around the world, including international choreographers and different cultural styles.

From our Artistic Director: Never Work with Animals!

In the depths of winter, the Bell Square events take a break.  On these cold, dark February days, my mind often wanders back to the balmy days of summer when we were out on the Square, remembering some of the shows, having chats with the audience, and working with some truly lovely artists. And it also wanders back sometimes to the little things that, just occasionally, didn’t go quite to plan…

A BEAUTIFUL POEM FROM BELL SQUARE AMBASSADOR CATHERINE

Our ever popular Winter Lights event was held at Bell Square recently - and as you can see from the photo gallery it's a dazzling and beautiful for everyone that comes along.  As always, it's a free event and everyone is welcome.

One of our Bell Square Ambassadors Catherine came along and was inspired to write this beautiful poem, read it in full below

A VIEW FROM BELL SQUARE'S ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: STREET GAMES FROM BARCELONA

Guixot de 8 is a Spanish company that make street games.  Using recycled materials, they make original games in their workshop in Barcelona.  They pack the games into a van and go wherever they are invited.  They then set up the games in the street and play with anyone who wants to try their hand.

A View from Bell Square's Artistic Director: Stage or Street? Iron Skulls at Bell Square

Next up at Bell Square is Spanish dance company, Iron Skulls, with their show, Sinestesia

A few months ago, this show played at Sadlers Wells in central London, generally considered to be one of the world’s premier venues for international dance.  A review described the show as “fast, furious, streetwise and great fun” and “brilliant, high octane!”