New for 2009, MIF Creative offered ways for local communities to get involved in the development of ambitious artistic productions. To help launch this new programme of work, Jeremy Deller worked on Procession with groups and individuals from across Greater Manchester for over 12 months to create a portrait of the city. Around 1,700 local participants led a uniquely Manchester procession down Deansgate in front of crowds of 25,000.
2009 also saw the return of The Beating Wing Orchestra (formed for MIf07 from locally-based musicians with refugee and asylum-seeker backgrounds) in collaboration with Malian superstars Amadou & Mariam. Over the course of a year, the musicians reworked existing Amadou & Mariam tracks and wrote new material, performing the results over two electrifying nights at the Festival's Pavilion Theatre.
We were also pleased to welcome Oily Cart and circus company Ockham's Razor to create a truly amazing arial work - Something in the Air - a new, multi-sensory show for young people with complex disabilities or an austistic spectrum disorder (ASD).
Our commitment to high-quality work for young people was further evidenced by The Difference Engine, a site-specific work by Walk the Plank and Thingumajig Theatre, for ages 7+, that took place in a curious deserted courtyard at the centre of Manchester Town Hall.