From the 17 – 20 March 2022, Centenary Square in Birmingham was transformed into our stage for Wondrous Stories, a spectacular open-air show that kicked-off the Birmingham 2022 Festival. Motionhouse’s professional dance-circus artists were joined by aerialist LJ Marles alongside a mass cast of hundreds from Critical Mass, Freewheelin (an inclusive wheelchair dance group), Motionhouse Youth, Motionhouse community class participants, Timmins Academy and the Centre of Advanced Training programme run by DanceXchange and Sampad, audiences witnessed large-scale immersive action and thrills as characters tumbled out of a giant book in the night sky, celebrating our human connection to stories.
Wondrous Stories was a show for everyone, made by a local and international creative team. Created and directed by Kevin Finnan MBE, Artistic Director of Motionhouse, who was choreographer and movement director of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The show featured additional choreography by Jamaal Burkmar (Extended Play, Phoenix Dance) and Sonia Sabri (Sonia Sabri Dance Company), live spoken word performance from Coventry and Birmingham-based artists Raza Hussain and Sebbie Mudhai, and actor Leon Finnan. Birmingham’s Choir With No Name sang to an uplifting soundtrack by Sophy Smith and Tim Dickinson, and designer Sophie Donaldson led Birmingham City University students in costume creation. Digital projections by Logela Multimedia and an incredible aerial dance-circus spectacle in the night sky thrilled audiences.
Wondrous Stories won the Access All Areas Diversity and Inclusion Award in January 2023.
Presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival. Wondrous Stories was created by Motionhouse and produced by Outdoor Places Unusual Spaces (OPUS). Generously supported by Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.