Dizzy Miss James - A Travel / Food/ Lifestyle Blog


16 Jun 2017

Artbeat Leicester 16th - 25th June

This will be the fourth ArtBeat, a festival of the arts and culture, held over ten days, from 16th - 25th June 2017. There are over 75 events to choose from. It complements the Queens Road Summer Fair, for which we will provide the stage entertainment. Artbeat wants the people of Clarendon Park to experience a variety of cultural activities, as organisers, performers or as the audience, to take part in events where they can pick up new skills and knowledge. To make use of the many facilities and businesses around and to learn about other communities. They want everyone to feel that they are all neighbours in the distinct Clarendon Park community.

What can you expect..


A Right Carry On up The Clarry takes local comedians and gives them a chance to make you laugh. A Laff in The Pub combines some old films with comedians, compèred by the award winning Rob Gee. The combination will be irresistible.


You can learn new dances from around the world - they have classes in Indian Classical/Folk dance, Jewish Circle dancing, Salsa and Line Dancing. There's a Grenshoots Ceilidh, a Hoedown and a Lindy Hop to really get those feet moving. An unusual combination of Indian dance accompanied by western song is a must see.


If you want to sing along, the City of Leicester Singers and the U3A Singing for Pleasure group both are offering the chance to sing along to well known songs and some that may be new to you.  It will be a pleasure listening to the Amazing Voices gospel choir. There will be Rabbi Cantor Solomon with his Hebrew and Yiddish songs at the Leicester Progressive Jewish Synagogue, followed by bardic music from the Messianic Synagogue at Brice Hall.


Chris Conway makes a welcome return, accompanied by Andy Nicholls, playing his own memorable style of jazz at Fingerprintz. Classical music is well represented. There's Yvonne Bloor giving a concert of her entrancing guitar playing. If you're a talented young string player, you could no better than attend the String Masterclass given by James Dickenson of the Villiers Quartet. They have three classical concerts too. Rock and pop music isn't forgotten: there are band nights at the Clarendon, the Donkey, the Cradock Arms, and the Knighton & Clarendon Park Club, as well as open mic sessions.
Greg Lint will play the Erhu, a Chinese two-stringed violin.


Try your hand at their creative writing events – poems that tell a story, or remember lost gems from our past like Fenwicks or the local bank. The multi-talented Rob Gee is also leading a creative session. Enter the prize poetry competition: the theme is “We all Belong”. Appropriately for the time of year you can join in a reading of  Shakespeare's “A Midsummer Night's Dream”. And of course there's the ever popular book quiz.


Do you want to design a fantasy house? Or a garden? Or even a whole world? They have events that will tell you how.

Science and Philosophy

They are called ArtBeat, but they are really a festival representing all the culture in Clarendon Park. So for the first time, you can listen to talks on alternatives to using animals in experiments, or technology in healthcare. There's an interesting cross-over with a talk on how ancient artefacts can inspire art. There's going to be a “Philosophy in the Pub” session provocatively entitled “Is it OK to Murder Granny”, which is about priorities in the NHS and bed blocking. They also have talks on St Thomas Aquinas and Theosophy.


Practical sessions on acupressure, body movement, mindfulness and qi gong.


Throughout the festival there will be a treasure hunt, following clues leading to the treasure. There are fun days at Christchurch and St John the Baptist School. Children can learn the basics of Indian Dance at Avenue Primary School. You can try out instruments – maybe one will work for you. Many other events, like mindfulness, maypole dancing, the ceilidh and the guitar taster class welcome children. All children must be accompanied.


Faith is an important part of our culture, and many places of worship have joined in this year. There are visits to Gurdwaras, and churches and synagogues have opened their doors to hold events. You can learn how to put on head gear from various cultures. Midsummer is welcomed with two celebrations in the Community Garden. There are two walks pointing out the architectural features of places of worship. The high spot will be a “Meet the Neighbours” event, with 20 different local  faith groups and those of no faith represented, gathering to explore the theme of the festival, 'We All Belong'.  Mr. R. Sandhu, MBE DL, Chair of Leicestershire Interfaith and  Assistant Mayor Councillor Sood will be attending. Clarendon Park is only a reflection of Leicester's diversity.

Some participants

Chris Conway
Chris Conway is an amazing jazz pianist, vocalist, composer and songwriter and is at home in modern jazz, standards, ballads, bossas, and blues, recording many albums in various groupings.

Rob Gee
Rob describes himself as “Multi-award winning stand up poet, writer, crowd-pleaser and all round good egg. Rob's is the only performance ever to have instigated a fight at the Leamington Spa Peace Festival.”

Yvonne Bloor
Stunning technical mastery, perfectly executed phrasing, every note was clear, every note sang. Yvonne’s technique coped just as effortlessly with songs from the musicals as it did with the most demanding contemporary classical pieces.
Houghton News – July 2011 as quoted on http://www.yvonnebloor.com

James Dickenson
In 2010 James started the Villiers Quartet. The Quartet have recently released their first disc on NAXOS , the Complete Quartets of Robert Still. James has spent the last 8 years studying the work and teaching methods of Constantine Dounis, a pedagogue unparalleled in his approach to the violin.

Full details of the programme can be found at www.clarendonpark.net


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