THE search is on to find 60 members of the public to join a North East dance company in a show-stopping finale to this summer’s South Tyneside Summer Parade.

Icarus: The Fall will be a dance theatre interpretation of the classic Greek story of the boy who flew too close to the sun.

And it is set to bring together both dance professionals and members of the local community in a dramatic climax to this year’s parade on Saturday 30 June at Bents Park, South Shields.

Created by Robby Graham, artistic director of Newcastle-based Southpaw Dance Company, the street performance will feature a giant pair of 16-foot wings controlled by a mixture of choreography and puppetry.

Dancers armed with bold props will join a community cast selected from across South Tyneside to tell the story of Icarus, who attempts to escape from Crete using a pair of wings made by his father.

However, he ends up flying too close to the sun and the wax which fastens the wings melts, causing him to fall into the Aegean Sea.

Southpaw Dance Company has worked closely with South Tyneside Council to develop this special version of the performance, giving the community the chance to get involved.

“We are looking for 60 members of the public to create a community cast who will play a vital part in our South Tyneside performance, telling the story of flight and reaching for the skies,” said Robby Graham.

“We aren’t seeking professional dancers, they don’t even have to have any dance experience. Instead, we are more interested in people who have a willingness to join in and have fun.”

The production will be funded by the Arts Council and supported by The Cultural Spring, an organisation which encourages people in South Tyneside and Sunderland to experience and be inspired by the arts.

It will form a part of the annual Summer Parade, one of the key events in the South Tyneside Festival, which is organised by South Tyneside Council and brings three months of music and family entertainment to venues across South Shields.

The performance will be staged in Bents Park at the end of the parade, and Cllr Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, is hoping for a strong response from the public.

“Every year we try to bring something bigger and better to the parade as it is such a big part of the South Tyneside Festival,” he said. “This year, we were keen to enhance the experience in Bents Park after the parade has arrived, and I think Icarus is going to be wonderful.

“It will be a chance for members of the public to share the stage with professional dancers and puppeteers, and I think it will be a fantastic experience. I urge anyone who thinks they could be interested to get in touch and sign up.”

Supported by the Port of Tyne, Colmans Seafood Temple, the Arts Council and BBC Newcastle, the Summer Parade is the biggest carnival in the North East and will this year follow the theme of Monsters, Myths and Magic.

Members of the public can get involved by signing up via an application form on the Southpaw Dance Company website: