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International news round-up: July 15

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Festival flood donation

GEORGIA/TBILISI The Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre has announced that “all money generated from ticket sales” this year will be donated to those affected by the deadly flood that struck the city in June. The damage is estimated at a minimum of GEL40 million (£11.5 million) and city authorities say that clean-up and recovery efforts will continue for many months to come. UK rock group Placebo have also announced that proceeds from their concert at the Tbilisi Open Air festival on July 7 will also go to help flood victims. TIFT 2015 runs from September 25 to October 3.

Remote broadcast

AUSTRALIA/PERTH Perth’s Black Swan State Theatre Company will broadcast live to remote towns in Western Australia with its production of Blithe Spirit streamed from the city’s State Theatre Centre on August 1. This is the fifth annual broadcast from the company and, in a state that covers an area larger than Western Europe, it represents an invaluable contribution to bringing theatre to isolated audiences where the nearest arts event can be a day’s drive away. Details at www.bsstc.com.au

Copeland on Broadway

USA/NEW YORK After becoming the first female African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre in June, Misty Copeland is also taking over the role of Ivy in On the Town. Directed by John Rando and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway, the show began as Jerome Robbins’ ballet Fancy Free, which premiered at the American Ballet Theatre in 1944. Copeland replaces New York City Ballet principal dancer Megan Fairchild for two weeks, beginning on August 25.

Plea for mega-venues

CHINA/HONG KONG Major events producer and agent Florence Chan Sock-fun says that Hong Kong has fallen off the international tour circuit for big-name performers as a result of the rapid growth in the region of 40,000-60,000-seater mega-venues. In a city where space is at a premium, Sock-fun says that the logical place to build a new 35,000-seater is on the site of the former Kai Tak airport. Hong Kong’s largest venue is currently the 14,000-seater Coliseum, built in 1983 as the largest in the region, which has since become a major training ground for stage designers and sound and lighting engineers.

Ready for The Off

FRANCE/AVIGNON The Off Avignon Festival celebrated its half-century this year as it kicked off on July 4 alongside the 69th edition of the Avignon Festival. A total of 1,066 companies are presenting 1,258 shows, across nearly 120 venues. The Off is offering a discount photocard, costing €16 (£11.35), that offers a 30% reduction on ticket prices for its shows as well as local museums and monuments. The festival runs until July 26.

Atelier deadline moved

HUNGARY/BUDAPEST The Festival Academy has extended its deadline for the next Atelier for Young Festival Managers to give more people the chance to apply. An initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), the atelier takes place from June 2-8, 2016, in Budapest, in collaboration with the city’s Armel Opera Festival. Ten festival directors will guide 45 participants through an intensive seven-day training programme. The deadline for applications is September 15. Details at www.thefestivalacademy.eu

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