Entertainment & Arts

BBC Four launches Year of Song and Dance

Darcey Bussell Image copyright PA
Image caption Darcey Bussell will lend her dance expertise to BBC Young Dancer 2015's Grand Final

The BBC has launched The Year of Song and Dance 2015, which will include new programmes and live performances on BBC Two, BBC Four and Radio 3.

Neil Brand's Sound of Song - exploring the secret behind popular songs - will launch the year-long season on Friday.

In May, Strictly judge Darcey Bussell will lend her dance expertise to BBC Young Dancer 2015's Grand Final, broadcast live from Sadler's Wells.

The former Royal Ballet principal said she was "delighted to be involved".

Brand's Sound of Song, on BBC Four, will explore the elements that come together to create great songs, from Elvis Presley's 'slapback' echo in Memphis to the tape loops used by The Beatles at Abbey Road.

Image copyright ALAMY
Image caption BBC Young Dancer 2015's final will be broadcast live on BBC Two in May

Other highlights of the year include:

  • Artistic director of Birmingham Royal Ballet David Bintley will trace the birth of ballet during Louis XIV of France's reign, in The King who invented Ballet on BBC Four
  • BalletBoyz: The Talent will document the life and work of the ground-breaking independent dance company on BBC Four
  • A classical voice season on BBC Two, BBC Four and Radio 3, starting in June, will include the return of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World
  • Amanda Vickery and Tom Service will find out about the real-life drama behind one of the world's most popular operas - Verdi's La Traviata - on BBC Four
  • Popular song will be put under the spotlight as Petula Clark explores the story of the lyric-driven French chanson, in Chanson: The Story of French Music on BBC Four in May
  • Kenneth Tharp, chief executive of The Place, will join the BBC Young Dancer 2015 as category finalist judge, with the final being broadcast live on BBC Two.

"Over the next 12 months we'll be offering everyone extraordinary access to some of today's great artists and performers," said the BBC's director general Tony Hall.

"When the BBC gets behind something, working closely with lots of others, we can offer opportunities like no one else."

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