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South Bank Centre Festival of the World Diamond Jubilee flag dance for Queen

Thursday, May 31, 2012
4:52 PM

The South Bank Centre’s Festival of the World opens tomorrow to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

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A troupe of dancers will send a semaphore message to the Queen from the roof of the Royal Festival Hall as she passes by during the Thames river pageant on Sunday.

Artist-in-residence Lea Anderson has choreographed a new work which involves 30 dancers using flags to deliver their greeting: “Happy Diamond Jubilee Queen Elizabeth, We Heart You.”

The three-month Festival of the World opens with numerous art installations and a pop-up street market with food from around the world.

The weekend will also mark the reopening of Jubilee Gardens, after a multi-million pound overhaul, to create the feel of an “English park”.

It was originally created in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

There will be free DJ sets from the likes of Goldie and Radio 1’s Annie Nightingale celebrating music from the past 60 years.

And the music of Frank Sinatra will be celebrated tomorrow with a live band recreating many of his best known songs exactly half a century after the star played a televised show at the Royal Festival Hall.

Over the coming weeks, 4,000 artists will contribute to the Festival of the World.

Outdoor works include a pair of robots made from recycled items which will scale the walls of the Hayward Gallery, a luminous cityscape made from plastic bottles and a sculpted baobab tree.

The area around the Queen Elizabeth Hall will include a display of 200 saplings grown from acorns gathered from trees planted for Joseph Beuys artwork 7,000 Oaks.

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