Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is a 365 day programme of cultural events and creativity inspired by the city. Hull secured the title of UK City of Culture 2017 in November 2013. It is only the second city to hold the title and the first in England. Divided into four seasons, starting with Made in Hull, this nationally significant event draws on the distinctive spirit of the city and the artists, writers, directors, musicians, revolutionaries and thinkers that have made such a significant contribution to the development of art and ideas.
From April to the end of September, there will be 42 new commissions and world premieres, 24 festivals and 13 new exhibitions amongst hundreds of events and activities taking place. In terms of theatre, dance and performance for the cultural programme, it was announced that Hull New Theatre will reopen following a £16m transformation with a visit from The Royal Ballet, led by its Hull-born director, Kevin O’Hare. The theatre will see an evening of classic and modern dance, bringing together artists from Hull with a selection of Royal Ballet principals and soloists. Joining The Royal Ballet on stage will be some of the dance talent emerging in the city, as well as Hull’s Xander Parish, soloist with The Mariinksy Ballet and Joseph Caley, principal with Birmingham Royal Ballet.
The one-off visit from The Royal Ballet will officially reopen Hull New Theatre on 16 September, with other highlights of the programme including a touring production from the National Theatre and a residency from the acclaimed Opera North. Additionally, Hull Dance will host Transgression: Breaking the Rules, a weekend of contemporary dance featuring dancers from Hull and across the Humber region at venues around the city. Assemble Fest will transform unlikely places into pop-up performance spaces, for flashmobs, interactive shows, music, art and dance in a variety of the area’s independent venues.
In a last highlight from the dance sector of the programme, the National Youth Dance Company will present Tarantiseismic, new work from Guest Artistic Director Damien Jalet, featuring 40 young dancers. There will also be a newly created piece by young people from Hull and East Yorkshire.