The organisers of the British Festival 2014 announced that The Urban Playground Team – UK’s original and premier performance-parkour company – will give six free public performances in Qatar starting on 10 April 2014.

The Urban Playground Team’s performances will be the latest opportunity for individuals and institutions in Qatar to experience the unique cultural offering of the UK, as British Festival 2014 nears its finish. The team blend authentic Parkour – an urban art form also known as free running – with urban and contemporary dance for a unique act the group calls performance-parkour.

Director of British Council Qatar, Martin Hope, said:

This year the British Council is celebrating 80 years of bringing the UK’s unique cultural offering to the world. The Urban Playground has performed at many festivals in the UK and overseas and we are delighted to be able to bring them to Qatar for the first time, as part of the British Festival. Their performances and workshops will introduce this fun and engaging genre to a new audience in Qatar. Through performances such as these, the British Festival 2014 has cemented British Council Qatar’s reputation as a source for high-quality cultural and educational initiatives that appeal to a wide audience.’

The group will perform their show, The Inner City, at Souq Waqif (Al-Souq Street near the main Souq Waqif car park) over three days. The show mixes parkour, hip-hop and contemporary dance to tell the story of inner city workers rebelling against their environment in a show the whole family will enjoy. Audiences will also be invited to try some of the moves after the performances. The shows will take place as follows:

  • Thursday 10 April 2014: Shows at 7 pm and 8:30 pm
  • Friday 11 April and Saturday 12 April 2014: Shows at 5 pm and 7 pm

Here’s a short clip of what you should expect to see:

Whilst in Doha, the Urban Playground Team will also work with a number of different youth and community partners to offer workshops on Parkour – from basic Parkour movement skills for young participants to an advanced break-dancing masterclass. During the Friday performances, the UPG team will be joined by the internationally renowned artist Rachel Gadsden, who will create a ‘live’ performance artwork based on the UPG Team’s show.

UPG Team co-director Alister O’Loughlin said:

Our work brings together the best elements of contemporary and urban dance with authentic parkour in a slapstick show for all the family. It’s really exciting for us to be working once again with the British Council and to bring the team for the first time to beautiful Doha.’

Taking place from 9 March to 9 April 2014, the British Festival 2014 is sponsored by Qatar Shell and BAE Systems, and supported by many local partners such as Bhs, Debenhams, East India Company, Ezdan Mall, The Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt, Hackett, Hilton Hotel, Imperial Advertising, Intercontinental Doha – The City, Jo Malone, Molton Brown, LuLu Hypermarket Trading Group, Pizza Express, Renaissance Marriot Hotel and Spinneys.