BBC declares 2015 The Year of Song and Dance

Series of special BBC programmes to be dedicated to classical singing and ballet

Neil Brand
Published: January 15, 2015 at 9:00 am

The BBC has unveiled its plans for The Year of Song and Dance 2015 on BBC Four and other channels across the network.


A year-long series that aims to highlight the power of song and dance through many different genres, it will include programmes featuring ballet, contemporary dance, the classical voice and popular song.

This Friday (16 January), episode one of Neil Brand’s (pictured above) three-part series Sound of Song, exploring what goes into creating our favourite songs, will kick things off.

A new competition, BBC Young Dancer 2015, will begin in April on BBC Four and Radio 3, with the grand final taking place at Sadler’s Wells theatre on 9 May and shown on BBC Two. The show will have four categories: ballet, contemporary, hip hop and South Asian dance and former ballerina Darcey Bussell will be a guest on the final, meeting and coaching the participants.

Other highlights include Amanda Vickery and Tom Service’s exploration of Verdi’s La traviata in La traviata & The Women of London on BBC Two and the return of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World on BBC Four and Radio 3 in June.

Also throughout June, Radio 3 will present an entire season devoted to the role of the human voice in classical music.

Two documentaries on BBC Four and BBC Two – The Golden Age of Singing, presented by Antonio Pappano (in three parts) and The Duke and the Composer, in which Simon Russell Beale tells the story of Monteverdi’s Vespers – will also focus on the classical voice.

Further programming will place ballet and contemporary dance under the spotlight.

Tony Hall, director general of the BBC says, ‘BBC Four's Year of Song and Dance is everything I love about the BBC. Over the next twelve months we'll be offering everyone extraordinary access to some of today's great artists and performers.’

Visit the BBC Media Centre to find out more


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