Putting Spirit into Le Grand Départ

Theater Tol will perform Luce in Dewsbury on April 12.
Theater Tol will perform Luce in Dewsbury on April 12.

An aerial spectacular celebrating the dramatic rivalry between two great cyclists will kick off the Yorkshire Festival in north Kirklees.

Dewsbury’s seventh annual Spirit extravaganza was chosen as one of the flagship events of the festival, which kicked off last week and marked the start of the 100-day countdown to the Grand Départ of the Tour De France, which comes to Yorkshire in July.

Spirit will see Belgium’s Luce Theater Tol descend on Dewsbury town centre next Saturday, April 12. The show will tell the story of the rivalry between two of Italy’s greatest cyclists, Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi, who raced against each other in the 1940s and 1950s.

Relive some of the nail-biting moments as performers combine sporting history with an amazing aerial show suspending the performers high above the audience.

Spirit has gathered a reputation for breath-taking street theatre performances from internationally renowned companies, and this year will also include art workshops.

Willow weaving will take place at Market Place from 10am to 12.30pm, and 1.30pm to 4pm. A willow cyclist will be created, which will be part of La Grande Famille (bicycle family), which will be displayed in July.

Or join Faceless Company for Space to Create - Les Bicyclettes, also at market Place during the same times, for a celebration of the bicycle and Yorkshire’s sculptural heritage. This family friendly workshop will create unique, reflective, brightly coloured wire cyclist sculptures and is suitable for the whole family.

The Yorkshire Festival includes almost 50 events across the county, including the world’s first Ghost Peloton, sculptures made and flown in from Los Angeles and a film premiere by award-winning director Daisy Asquith.

Henrietta Duckworth, the festival’s executive Producer, said: “All 47 headline Yorkshire Festival projects as well as hundreds of Fringe events, are ready to reveal a myriad of opportunities, across all artforms for fun, invention and festivities for all ages.

“And, inspired by Le Tour, the largest free annual sporting event in the world, the majority of Yorkshire Festival’s programme is free to access.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Yorkshire Festival 2014 is about to get the county charged with excitement for the next 100 days as we get ready to welcome the Tour de France. We’d encourage everyone to get into the spirit and be part of this incredible time for Yorkshire!”

Visit www.yorkshirefestival.co.uk, Yorkshire Festival on Facebook or follow @YFest2014 on Twitter for more.