Comic book stars inspire dance routine for Dundee culture bid

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A new “Dundee dance routine” inspired by some of its famous comic book characters created in the city has been released to help bolster its bid to become a European culture capital.

It is hoped hundreds of people will turn out next month to perform Desperate Dan, Oor Wullie and Dennis the Menace moves after learning them from a new online tutorial.

Dundee are bidding to become the culture capital of Europe.

Dundee are bidding to become the culture capital of Europe.

There are also nods to The Law, the hill overlooking the city, its famous city polar exploration vessel Discovery, the River Tay and the Mills Observatory.

A football header is also incorporated in the routine as a tribute to the city’s footballing rivals, Dundee and Dundee United.

Organisers of the Dundee 2023 bid are staging a mass dance session at the new public park recently completed on the city’s waterfront on 7 October.

A rehearsal is being staged the previous Wednesday to help Dundonians learn the new routine ahead of the two-hour event, which will be filmed to help promote Dundee’s bid and be used as part of its official application.

Award-winning choreographer Thomas Small, founder of the Dundee-based dance charity Shaper / Caper, has masterminded the creation of the routine, which been set to the official Dundee 2023 anthem, Over Bridges.

It emerged last month that singer-songwriter Gary Clark, frontman of the band Danny Wilson, had produced the song Over Bridges, which is said to capture the “iconic view” of the city while crossing the Tay. A host of Dundee’s musical talent, including Kyle Falconer, singer with The View, and the bands Model Aeroplanes and St Martiins, all appear on the track, along with Adam Hunter, who Clark wrote the song with.

Dundee has been preparing a bid to be crowned European Capital of Culture in 2023 ever since losing out to Hull with a bid to become UK City of Culture this year. It is the only Scottish contender for the title, but is up against competition from Leeds, Belfast, Nottingham and Milton Keynes.

Small said: “We hope people will rise to the challenge and learn some of the moves online, then come along to meet us and practice with the professionals at Slessor Gardens.

“It will be fun, energetic and a great opportunity to show that Dundee loves dancing.

“Dundee’s dance halls were an important part of the community through to the 1960s - we want to bring that spirit back.

“We became aware of the huge effort the city is making to ensure Dundee is a leading contender to be European Capital of Culture in 2023 and we wanted to contribute with what we do best.

“Listening to the official anthem gave us the ideas for the main movements like the Tay and we also wanted to feature other iconic locations like The Law, Discovery, and the Mills Observatory, and our much-loved comic characters, of course.”

Anna Day, manager of the Dundee 2023 bid, said: “This is a brilliant initiative from the dance community in Dundee. We are thrilled they have stepped forward with this fantastic idea, which is something everyone can participate in.

“We will be filming the dance event and hope to show it as part of our official bid presentation to the judges at the end of the month.

“We would encourage as many people to get dancing and show their support for Dundee 2023.”