LEAP 2017 is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in Liverpool


Welcome / Introduction

Leap 2017
Camouflage: Seen & Unseen

Welcome to LEAP 2017; a festival of dance celebrating its 25th anniversary in Liverpool.

MDI’s mission has always been to inspire people through the wonderful artform of dance and it is that commitment that drives LEAP’s provocative and tantalising agenda. To shine a spotlight on the city of Liverpool through dance, I have chosen the theme of camouflage for this year’s festival. We want to bring dance out of the shadows, explore the hearts and minds of our communities and discover what makes Liverpool move.

LEAP 2017 is a creative catalyst and world-class festival, all about “being noticed”, enabling us to grow a scene and thriving community for dance in one dedicated space. This year’s ambitious and bold programme has been curated in response to the fundamental concept of “being seen” and considering the impact of “being unseen” and what impact that has, on a city, a region, a country and the world.

LEAP 2017 is taking place at Make; 18,000 sq. feet of warehouse in the vibrant North Dockland creative hub, only a 15min walk from Liverpool city centre. Make is a place to collaborate and create; a magnet for creatives, makers and events. In celebration of our landmark silver anniversary, we are working alongside Make and Unity Theatre to make MDI’s biggest dream a reality; to create a first of its kind pop-up dance house to present the best of the UK’s dance all under one roof – a first for MDI and the city!

Join us and join in as we take a massive leap to bring some of the most inspiring and critically-acclaimed dancers and choreographers to the city, while showcasing our own talented, ground-breaking artists based right here.

Most importantly, LEAP 2017 would not have been possible without the 130 individuals who kindly backed our Kickstarter campaign. To all of them, our sincere thanks and we look forward to seeing you at LEAP 2017. Thanks to all our supporters for their generous donations and support, and to everyone who has helped us in bringing dance to new places and new spaces.

Karen Gallagher MBE

Artistic Director and the MDI Team
Adam Cooper – Finance and Administration Officer
Maxine Brown-Community Dance Artist
Jennie Hale-community Dance Artist
Paul Doyle-Community Dance Artist



Blog Editor and Dance Critique

Welcome to the MDI LEAP Dance Festival 2017 blog, celebrating its 25th Anniversary. #MakeMeLEAP

The LEAP Festival promotes a pop-up dance house, inviting the best of UK’s dance. The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Camouflage: Seen and Unseen’, bringing dance out of the shadows. LEAP Dance Festival will be exploring a variety of works, giving an expansive view of movement today.

My name is Megan Rainford and I am a current MA Dance Student at Liverpool John Moore’s University. I have a BA (Honours) in Dance Practices and have explored a variety of work, whether this is within a classical setting or a site specific performance. It will be a pleasure to work with MDI on the LEAP Dance Festival 2017, providing a blog and a critical analysis of the events taking place. The blog will further provide a variety of information supporting and surrounding the LEAP Dance Festival, giving you the opportunity to additionally explore what the festival has to offer.

Within my time as both a performer and as a researcher at LJMU, I have had the opportunity to work with a range of companies and having the chance to create my own pieces of work. This has lead to further opportunities to analyse and critique works. I have always been interested in the choreographic and analytical process, also exploring the development and creation of the work.

World of Work – Working with MDI

It is a pleasure for myself and other interns at LJMU to have the opportunity to work with MDI LEAP Dance Festival 2017. Having the chance to explore a professional organisation is a wonderful opportunity helping to support students and graduates of LJMU.

Within LJMU, the World of Work Careers Centre invite employers to participate in the Accelerator Internship Programme, helping many students to make that transition. This allows the students and graduates to enhance their employability and develop skills within an industry.