Hectic day trying to combine Naomi's 8th birthday party with three UK Now events. Luckily, Naomi wanted to bring her friends to this great pottery shop-cum-gallery in 798 where you can paint mugs & pots & ceramics puppies, followed by food & cake at a cafe just round the corner - and just round another corner were two of my events. Perfect! So, that went well, followed by...
...A talk by Akram Khan's producer, Farooq Chaudhry, on the Business of Dance. Interesting guy. Pakistani family, raised in London, tearaway, car-stealer, did time, reformed, enrolled at Sussex University (while I was there but I didn't know him), danced for 12 years or so, much of which was in Belgium for Rosas (pretty much my favourite dance company), retired, did an MA in Arts Management at City University (again while I was there but we didn't meet), met Akram Khan, persuaded him that he needed a producer and the rest is history. Great story.
... Followed by the opening of our Olympic Posters exhibition at Red Star Gallery. Not a big affair: a dozen prints by a dozen artists - all top notch: Tracey Emin, Martin Creed, Rachel Whiteread, Howard Hodgkin, Bridget Riley, Michael Craig-Martin, Chris Ofili etc. The artists were asked to give their visual interpretation of what the Olympic and Paralympic Games meant to them, which inevitably results in a mix of beautiful, weird, conceptual, simple, incomprehensible etc which I'm sure the UK media has batted around at length.
...And finally Liz and I got to see Akram Khan Dance Company perform Vertical Road at the NCPA (where else?). Brilliant stuff, even with an injured dancer. Deep, primitive, challenging, in a very different way to the above - and with Nitin Sawhney's great music booming out of the speakers. About 400 of the audience stayed for the after-show talk. A long art-filled day, even by normal standards.