© James Johnson
  © James Johnson
 © McAteer Photograph
  © McAteer Photograph

Ghost Peloton

Ghost Peloton is a highly ambitious collaboration between NVA and Leeds based Phoenix Dance Theatre, in partnership with the national cycling advocacy charity, Sustrans. It is one of the main commissions for the Yorkshire Festival 2014, marking the build-up to the Grand Départ, with the opening two stages of the Tour de France coming to British shores this summer. Together, they will produce a new film and live performance bringing together dancers, a peloton of stunningly illuminated cyclists and iconic locations drawn from the Tour de France route through Yorkshire.

Ghost Peloton builds on the worldwide success of NVA’s Speed of Light which since 2012 has choreographed massed endurance runners in sites as diverse as Arthur’s Seat, Yokohama docks and the entire Ruhr valley. Now, the landscape of Yorkshire becomes an open canvas carrying a new visual language of light in motion, as Ghost Peloton takes the work into a new creative territory, using cycling as the core of mass communal movement.

Monumental public performances took place in Waides Yard, central Leeds on 16 & 17 May, and a new film is in production which is to be broadcast in connection with the opening days of the Grand Départ. Inspired by the wheel in motion, the work fuses performance cycling with athletic choreography performed by Phoenix’s dancers, and the varied landscapes of Yorkshire. Each rider, bike and performer was illuminated utilising NVA’s bespoke LED light suit which can instantaneously change colour, flash-rate and luminosity. The rhythm of movement from the choreographed actions of massed participations becomes a source of creativity in itself extending perception of the immediate setting.

It is epic public art, operating at the grandest scale, where physical surroundings become an open canvas carrying a new visual language, expressing mood and movement, comprised of form, colour and line.