Date and time: Saturday 25 September, 3pm

Location: Valley Gardens, starting outside St Peter’s Church 

The Cilia Dance is a movement piece created and performed by local people. It’s a conversation using the language of movement, instead of words, to explore how we travel around the city.

A playful, fun, collaborative and empathic exchange, to dance in each other’s shoes.

The dance was inspired and informed by COVID-19, the climate emergency, transport and air pollution and Cilia.

Cilia are microscopic, hair-like structures on the body’s cells, found especially lining the respiratory tract and lungs. They’re primordial and rhythmic, moving to keep airways clear and allowing us to breathe without irritation.

Performers move in lines and clusters. They dance in looped sequences that describe and reflect how they move around the city:

  • scooting
  • skating
  • walking
  • running
  • cycling
  • driving

They share, exchange, re-create and re-form in sequences as they move along a route through the green spaces of Valley Gardens, representing the lungs of the city.

On 22 September 2006, a cast of over 100 people and their bicycles performed Bicycle Ballet on Madeira Drive. This was the first Brighton Car Free Day event. 

This year’s performance of The Cilia Dance for Car Free Day will mark 15 years since Bicycle Ballet’s first Car Free performance and the company’s 15th birthday.

The Cilia Dance Creative Team

Artistic Director, Karen Poley

Choreography, Ella Fleetwood, mentored by Virginia Farman

Sound Design, Barry Han with tracks from Tru Thoughts record label

Commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council