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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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LAKES Alive is set to blaze a trail this summer with a series of spectacular arts events throughout the Lake District and Cumbria this year.

From a ground-breaking new commission for the London 2012 Festival on the shores of Windermere to a fiery night-time performance that will illuminate the whole of Derwentwater, this year’s programme of events promises to be the most amazing yet.

The acclaimed Les Commandos Percu will get the proceedings off to an explosive start on June 21 when they unveil the world premiere of On the Night Shift.

One of just four official opening events of the London 2012 Festival, this incredible open-air production combines music, pyrotechnics and drama to dazzling effect.

Streams of colour and light will soar through the skies above Windermere soon after the Olympic Torch has passed through the town. The sights will be accompanied by a troupe of drummers and dancers, some of whom are UK performers who have auditioned to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Previous performances by the group have been described as “powerful, dazzling, shocking” and this new show is being tipped as one of the must-see highlights of the festival.

The event – like much of the Lakes Alive programme – is free.

Julie Tait, the director of Kendal Arts International which creates Lakes Alive, says: “We’re really excited by the sheer scale and quality of the performances lined up for 2012. It promises to be an inspirational season filled with beauty, drama, thrills and surprises.

“Les Commandos Percu will set the standard with an unforgettable show that will be a truly jaw-dropping experience.”

On August 10 and 11, Ilotopie will make a big splash with Water Fools (Fous de Bassin) – a wild and wonderful show that will transform Derwentwater into a fantasy water wonderland.

A further feast of entertainment will be served up with the August Banquets, which were born out of Lakes Alive’s desire to take its programme to smaller and more isolated locations.

The Banquets will take place at Talkin Tarn on August 15 and Appleby on August 16, as well as at other locations in Allerdale and Copeland.

An exciting new festival of street arts will be launched in the pretty Lakeland village of Cartmel on August 17 to 19.

Masquepony is the first UK street arts festival that will include the opportunity to camp on site. During the course of the three-day event, visitors will be able to pitch their tent at Cartmel Racecourse with views of the stunning fells surrounding them.

As well as a line-up of world-class outdoor performances, there’ll be a Big Top circus, world and folk music, fireworks and workshops that the whole family can enjoy.

The finale of the 2012 Lakes Alive programme is Mintfest on August 31 to September 2. The event, which has established itself as the one of the UK’s leading street arts festivals, will boast a line-up of the world’s brightest street stars.

It all bodes well for a spectacular Olympic year for Cumbria.

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