Riz Ahmed and FKA Twigs amongst latest additions to MIF live line-up

Riz Ahmed is the latest artist to join the line-up for MIF LIVE, Manchester International Festival’s free online programme for audiences at home, featuring much-loved shows from the archives, artist talks, and new work from Manchester artists.

The musician, storyteller, actor and activist will join MIF LIVE on Friday 8 May at 7.30pm for Riz Ahmed In Conversation to discuss his life and work, including his latest project The Long Goodbye. Unfolding over the course of a recently released album and short film, and a forthcoming new live show (commissioned and produced by MIF and BAM) which was due to premiere in Manchester last month, The Long Goodbye turns our divided political times into deeply personal matter through the metaphor of a romantic break-up. Then, on Saturday morning, Joy Alpuerto Ritter, choreographer on The Long Goodbye live show, will give a free online dance class inspired by the show.

Next week (Friday 15 May, 7.30pm), will see a rescheduled streaming of FKA twigs’ Soundtrack 7, created and filmed during the artist’s MIF15 residency at the Old Granada Studios. Conceptualised as an abstract autobiographical piece, Soundtrack 7 includes performances set to How’s That, Ultraviolet, and Good to Love among other tracks by the artist, and is bound together by a striking, repeated recitation of Thomas Wyatt’s poem I Find No Peace (an excerpt from which opened twigs’s critically acclaimed LP1). Emphasising the grit and physicality of dance, FKA twigs describes the project as ‘flesh, sweat, feeling, muscle, and a live movement, no air brushing, no frills’. The film will be followed by an exclusive in-conversation between FKA twigs and Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries Hans Ulrich Obrist.

A reimagining of MIF17’s hit Party Skills for the End of the World, from award-winning theatrical innovators Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari of cult performance collective Shunt, will be presented on Friday 22 May, 7.30pm. Originally staged in a unique Salford building, 2017’s Party Skills… was a wild, immersive show that showed us how to get by when the end comes and how to celebrate everything that makes life worth living. Now, exclusively for MIF LIVE, Louise and Nigel have created Party Skills for the End of the World (Lockdown Edition) an entirely new immersive online party experience where audiences can meet, mingle – and learn a few new skills to help them through their locked-down lives.

The MIF LIVE schedule also includes MIF Encounters, a series of talks and discussions on Thursday lunchtimes. This week is MIF17’s Naming the Money (Thursday 7 May, 12.30), an engrossing audience with one of the most thoughtful and fascinating voices in British contemporary art, Lubaina Himid. Titled in honour of her powerful 2004 installation and presented in front of the backdrop she designed, Naming the Money explores power, art and money from her own very personal perspectives.

With the creative community seriously affected by the Covid-19 crisis, MIF is also supporting artists and creative practitioners based in Greater Manchester to make work during the lockdown. This includes Festival in My House….and Yours, a series of new online commissions, reimagining the popular micro-festival series. This week MC, DJ and multi-disciplinary artist Chunky invites audiences to Pre ‘n’ Tea as he and creative chef Sunny Ray cook up a storm in their kitchens – one in Manchester, the other in Barcelona – accompanied by sounds curated and played by Chunky with guests Meme Gold and LEVELZ’ Biome (Wednesday 6 May, 7.30pm).

MIF LIVE shows are being streamed via MIF’s YouTube channel. For more information and programme updates visit mif.co.uk.