Bicycle Ballet Takes To The Streets During Wandsworth Fringe

Anyone who has a bike can join in

A cast of women cyclists are taking to the streets of to perform the new Bicycle Ballet Show, Blazing Saddles. ‘Blazing Saddles’ is a visually stunning, outdoor show, celebrating, women, cycling and fashion. Inspired by the history of women cycling, the show seeks to explore some of the reasons why women do and don’t ride bikes today, and to transform the way people think about cycling.

Bicycle Ballet Takes To The Streets During Wandsworth Fringe

The show takes the form of short, evolving sequences performed at several locations with short rides inbetween, starting at 2pm in Hildreth St, then heading off to Bedford Hill Place, with one or two stops along Bedford Hill, then toTooting Bec Common Café, through the common and back to Bedford Place at approximately 4pm.

Residents are invited to meet performers on route, or ride along with the cast and immerse themselves in the action. The show will take place over approximately two hours, including a ‘performative picnic’ break on route - bring your own food and drink, or enjoy the Tooting Bec Common cafe. To join the ride bring your own bike and helmet.

Karen Poley, Creative Producer for The Bicycle Ballet Co, said, “I’m very excited about the show, which has been supported by Wandsworth Council and Wandsworth Arts Fringe. Blazing Saddles dusts off the long history of women riding bikes and seeks to highlight the freedom, independence and economy of cycling can be a part of everyday life, enjoyed on a daily basis.”

Blazing Saddles is part choreographed and part improvised using humour, movement and character, and inspired by the issues and ideas around women cycling through history to the present day.

In the 19th century cycling was at the forefront of movements for women’s equality. Women embraced the independence and the freedom of cycling. To huge consternation and public outcry, they shed voluminous, layered dresses and up to seven pounds of underwear. Today, young women tend to stop cycling at puberty, and the majority never re-start. Amongst the reasons are issues around appearance: lycra; helmet hair; getting sweaty; being unfit; as well as concerns about safety and traffic, not to mention the vagaries of British weather.

However, clearly many women are interested in cycling and getting more physically active. So the show’s structure is designed to encourage women to have a go. We’ll be visiting places around the local area and riding together in a sociable group, with short sections created by participants for the local community.

The organisers and performers of Blazing Saddles encourage local riders to come and get involved.

If you are interested in participating in the show and would like further information, go to

April 19, 2017

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Blazing Saddles