July, the warmest month of the year, is round the corner and we have curated a selection of events and activities for the FOCUS members to enjoy during the month. July's birthstone is the ruby, which symbolizes contentment and its birth flowers are the Larkspur and the Water Lily.
music: Mavis Staples and Stone Foundation
Mavis Staples is an American rhythm, blues and gospel singer, credited as one of the greatest Gospel Soul voices of all time. Born in Chicago in 1939 her recording career spans from the 1950s to the current day. In the 60s her band ’The Staple Singers’ became the spiritual and musical voices of the civil rights movement. They covered contemporary pop hits with positive messages, including Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" and a version of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth“ and her songs have been covered by the Rolling Stones. Throughout the ’70s Mavis had hits with tracks such as ‘Respect Yourself’, ‘I’ll Take You There’ and ‘Let’s Do It Again’. More recently, she had a huge UK hit ‘Nina Cried Power’ last year with Hozier. Mavis Staples, who turns 80 in July, possesses one of the most recognisable voices in contemporary music.
festival: Red Bull Soapbox Race 2019
Once again the legendary Red Bull Soapbox Race will take place at Alexandra Palace, in which amateur drivers race home-made soapbox vehicles. This fun, non-motorised racing event challenges both experienced racers and amateurs alike, to design and build soapbox creations. Teams will compete by racing their dream machines around the 430m course, using nothing but the power of gravity. Over the years previous designs have ranged from realistic replicas to colourful wagons that looked like a piano, a giant baby carriage, a rodeo clown and the Golden Gate Bridge. The judging criteria is based around three things: speed, creativity and showmanship. Spectators and drivers alike should come prepared for an adrenaline-fuelled day of thrills, spills and hilarity!
dance: Flirt with Reality
Britain’s got Talent finalists Another Kind of Blue are heading to the capital this July to present their new show "Flirt with Reality“. Dutch choreographer and digital designer David Middendorp puts together a production of five choreographies, exploring the boundaries of reality and our natural world and how those borders have become blurred in our virtual world. The dancers perform alongside animations, drones, robots, films and music. Middendorp unites humans and technology and creates an inspiring and renewed dance experience that defy gravity, twist perspective and make use of illusion to question reality. Don’t miss the magical-surreal interplay of video image, music and dance at the Peacock theatre.
dance: Classical Indian Dance and its Relevance in a Global Contemporary
Come join Rukmini Vijayakumar for her dance and dialogue series. This event is part of the Asia House 2019 Spring Arts and Learning Programme. This event is free for students. Rukmini will be partnering up with Vena Ramphal, a dancer and yoga teacher who has performed for royalty, prime ministers and several celebrities. The two women will bring an uplifting insight into a modern cultural India.
not to be missed: Regent Street's Summer Streets
Taking place throughout the summer in July and August, Regent Street will become pedestrianised from Oxford Circus all the way to Piccadilly Circus, allowing visitors to enjoy the festival-style atmosphere in the heart of London. Enjoy the rare spectacle to relax, unwind and appreciate a fantastic range of entertainment and activities along the street. Following the huge success of last year, summer streets will combine themes of art, culture, style and wellness with food and drink. Retailers, restaurants and businesses all are preparing to come together to offer the public a special series of Sundays to remember.
sport: Müller Anniversary Games
The Queen Elizabeth Olympia Park will be hosting the Müller Anniversary Games. Founded in 2013 as a legacy to the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, the Müller Anniversary Games is one of the best international athletics meetings in the world and attracts world’s top track and field athletes. In recent years athletes such as Usain Bolt, Sir Mo Farah, Laura Muir and Diana Asher-Smith have taken part. British record holder Diana Asher-Smith will return this year to the stadium to compete with Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, Elaine Thompson of Jamaica and Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands. Six world champions from London 2017, Wayde van Niekerk, Sally Pearson, Karsten Warholm, Mutaz Barshim, Katerina Stefanidi and Christian Taylor were confirmed as part of the line-up for the event and many more. Get your ticket now and enjoy watching some of the world’s greatest athletes.
art: An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahik at the Wallace Collection
10 June-1 September
Join the unique exhibition "An Enquiring Mind: Manolo at the Wallace Collection“, celebrating the works of the world’s famous shoe designer Manolo Blahnik. The designer, who will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his brand next year, aims to create a dialogue between art and craft. More than 160 pairs of shoes will be shown in a way they have not been seen before. The new exhibition features a personally selected edit of shoe designs from Blahník’s private archives set amongst the 18th century masterpieces at the Wallace Collection. In ten rooms the exhibition places Manolo Blahnik’s shoes between the collection’s baroque masterpieces. One of the pairings in the exhibition is to place the shoes which were designed for Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette (2006) in front of Jean-Honore Fragonard’s painting ’The Swing’ (1767). A rare opportunity to see excellence in contemporary design alongside the exceptional quality of the Wallace Collection’s own art works.
theatre: Peter Gynt
27 June till 8 October