Monday 10 June 2013

Bradford - Bollywood's latest star!

If you didn't get to watch it, go to BBCi player now, and catch a modern version of 'Carmen' performed last night in Bradford's City Park. It truly was a spectacular success, and the city looked lovely. For many outside the city, it would have been the first time that that had seen the new pool and fountains since they were finished over a year ago.

The stage was set for the Bollywood retelling of Bizet's classic opera - local dancers mixed with professional actors, and months of planning went into action at 9pm on Sunday night.

I didn't spot a single hitch, it flowed beautifully. The story was well told, and it all looked a lot of fun, quite something to get right for a whole hour, over multiple sites.

This was more than just a great TV moment, this was an affirmation to the world that Bradford is back on the map for all the right reasons. First, the Channel 4 documentary 'Bradford, City of Dreams' told how the city was using its international connections to overcome the recession and now a major live BBC production celebrating all that is good about the diversity of the city.

I really felt very proud of Bradford last night, a place that has overcome huge obstacles to get where it is today. Strangely enough, it was the failed EDL demo of 2010 that turned the fortunes of the city around. They aimed to break Bradford and encourage another riot, but instead, they help Bradfordians believe in themselves again, as they non-violently found various ways of resisting the fascists.

Since then the city has grown from strength to strength, and confidence will be at an all time high after last night - so well done to all involved! Bradford, City of Dreams indeed!

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