AFTER nine days of showcasing the talents of more than 350 performers from nine countries, the curtain has come down on the 55th Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance.

The dancers brought their displays of culture and heritage from countries including Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, pictured below, Ireland, India, Slovakia, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

The Northern Echo:

The various shows and performances entertained audiences in Billingham, Darlington, Middlesbrough and Stockton.

The festival programme was devised by Artistic Director Olga Maloney and Balbir Singh of Balbir Singh Dance Company.

The John Curry inspired shows included The Creative Spirit of John Curry, an ice spectacular featuring the Dancing on Ice superstars Mark Hanretty, Vanessa Bauer and Nina Ulanova accompanied by a whole host of other international figure skating champions.

The Northern Echo:

Some of the dancers from Georgia

Olga Maloney said: “It never fails to amaze me just how passionate the world class performers are about proudly taking to the stage to showcase their traditional and customary dance techniques after travelling thousands of miles to Billingham from all over the globe."