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Maidstone International Arts Festival

Celebrating the arts has become somewhat of a tradition in Maidstone and the festival gets underway this weekend (24th June) with the opening of an exhibition of art in The Mall shopping centre and Maidstone Museum, running for the duration of the festival.

This free exhibition features works by renowned local artist Graham Clarke, the Franco-British artist Alice Anderson, top textile artist Cas Holmes and a host of other local and international exhibitors with some art work for sale and others simply for show.

The weekend of 15th July brings the highlights of the festival with workshops for children over 8 and young people giving them an exciting opportunity to express their creative talent and become truly immersed in the spirit of the festival.

Robert Hylton has been commissioned to come up with a specially tailored Planet Mars themed hip-hop workshop based on his choreography ‘Landscapes’, expected to be particularly popular.

There is also the opportunity for youngsters to be tutored in ballet by international tutor Renato Paroni or learn some contemporary moves with dancers from Rambert.

A highly-skilled performer and choreographer has designed the ‘free to move technique’ for our contemporary movement workshop. The combination of both the class and repertoire work will launch participants into an intense workout in preparation for their first journey into space!

Renato Paroni, one of the best-known ballet teachers in the UK with an international reputation, will lead the ballet workshop. He has taught at English National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal Norwegian Ballet, and Ballet de Cidade to name a few. Now he is going to teach his techniques to the people of Maidstone!

Renato is currently a senior rehearsal director in several ballet companies in Germany and organisers are over the moon to be bringing him back for the exciting Ballet on Mars class – not to be missed!

Super Collider will be running an exciting workshop – Exploring Space Suits – which starts at noon in Brenchley Gardens and runs for an hour. They will explore why astronauts have to wear specialist clothing in space through a series of hands-on experiments and participants will have a chance to try on a replica of the Sokol Pressure Suit as worn by Tim Peake during his Principia Mission.

This workshop covers aspects of human biology, the physics of pressure and the engineering and design of space suits, as well as a look at the history of human space flight.

Irene Delfanti will also be running a workshop in Brenchley gardens ‘From Laputa to Mars.’

Artist Maryleen Schiltkamp and pianist Reinis Zarins will lead an innovative live drawing workshop and there will also be musical workshops at venues around the town. Full details can be found at

Buy tickets from or from 01622 737916 or from Tel: 01622 737916

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