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Dance festival to pay tribute to ice-skating star John Curry

The Billingham Festival is dedicating the whole of its eight-day programme to the Olympic champion, who would have been 70 this year.

Olympic ice-skating champion John Curry (PA)
Olympic ice-skating champion John Curry (PA)

An international dance festival is dedicating the whole of its eight-day programme to Olympic ice-skating champion John Curry, who would have been 70 this year.

The Birmingham-born star is being honoured next month at the 55th Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance, where leading figures in skating and dance will come together to pay tribute.

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Figure skater Mark Hanretty and ballet dancer Erica Mulkern rehearsing for The Creative Spirit Of John Curry (Malcolm Johnson/PA)

Curry won gold at the 1976 Winter Olympics with the mesmerising Don Quixote free skate and was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

His skating style drew from ballet and modern dance and is still revered to this day.

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John Curry, who won gold in Innsbruck in 1976, aged 26, was the first Briton to win the Olympic men’s figure-skating championship (PA)

The centrepiece of the festival will be The Creative Spirit Of John Curry, a tribute which will have its global premiere at Billingham Forum Ice Arena on August 16, and will feature stars from ITV’s Dancing On Ice.

The festival’s artistic director, Olga Maloney, said: “We thought the legendary John Curry was a perfect match for our festival, with his trailblazing attitude, style and techniques.

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Figure skater Yebin Mok rehearsing for The Creative Spirit Of John Curry (Malcolm Johnson/PA)

“We have been bringing a variety of different dance themes from around the world for over five decades and in that time we’ve been inspiring the next generation of dancers, much like the legacy of John Curry, who is still enthusing people over 20 years after his death.”

For more information visit billinghamfestival.co.uk

PA

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