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Illuminate at Southside Birmingham

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Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
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Birmingham lights up for free exhibition
Birmingham is set to light up with a series of innovative illuminations during a three day spectacular.

Vibrant Terracotta Warriors shine in Illuminate at Southside

Birmingham Hippodrome has produced the event, which features a serious of exhibits dotted around Southside - the area around Hurst Street and Chinatown in Birmingham City Centre.

A key highlight is the Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors Exhibition, which was originally created for the Beijing Olympics and has been transported over to Birmingham piece by piece.

More than 90 life-size illuminated warriors will be placed in Gallon Car Park, in Hurst Street, for visitors to explore for free.

The figures were inspired by China's famous and historic Terracotta Army of statues; but unlike the original artefacts, these versions slowly light up in bright colours against the dark skyscape of Birmingham at night.

Along with the warriors, Illuminate includes also a 360 degree film igloo where families will be able to watch 3D films covering sport, dance, music and movement.

Elsewhere, there will be choreographed fire dancing performances - FlameOz - along with huge images of Birmingham faces that have been colourised into pop art posters and then projected onto local buildings in the area. The stream of local portraits are set to a constant, changing wall of colour.

During three days of exhibitions, there will also be roaming light performances amongst the crowds, but the finale will be a new dance performance of Echolia.

Echolalia, which means a child's repetition of sounds uttered by others, brings together projections and dance by choreographer Sonia Sabri and new media artist Andy McKeown.

Sarah Allen, Creative Programme Manager at Birmingham Hippodrome said Illuminate would transform the area into a spectacular light experience.

"We're particularly excited to welcome the Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors Exhibition, marking the first time it has been seen in Birmingham," said Allen.

She added that the first 100 visitors to Hippodrome Square or LeTruc will receive a free Illoom glowing balloon, enabling them to be part of a glowing procession in Hurst Street.

October 25 - 26 - 6pm to 10pm
October 27 - 6pm to 8pm

For full running times, visit

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Why? Free unusual event to see
When: October 25 - 27
Where: Southside - area around Hurst Street, Birmingham City Centre
Cost: Free
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