August Recommendations

Pin It
Sintra Bronte in a Jamaican tourist board campaign, 1972
Sintra Bronte in a Jamaican tourist board campaign, 1972

AnOther's editors pick their August highlights including Jamaica's 50th independence celebrations, Anna Pavlova at BFI and The Proms...

Jamaica's 50th Independence Celebrations
August 6 marks the 50-year anniversary of Jamaica's independence from Britain. While London's Respect Jamaica Festival (until August 6) is celebrating the nation's great musicians, with performances from the likes of Damian Marley, Toots and the Maytals and Jimmy Cliff, it isn't too presuming to imagine that Jamaica's running champion Usain Bolt will too give cause for celebration (Olympic-style) when he performs in the much-anticipated men's 100-metre sprint, taking place on August 5.

Antony's Meltdown at the Southbank Centre – until August 12
Antony Hegarty will follow in the footsteps of John Peel, David Bowie and Patti Smith in curating this year's esteemed Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre. The Antony and the Johnsons frontman has organised twelve days of inspirational music, debate and performance, reflective of his influences and passions. Guest collaborators will include Yoko Ono and Marina Abramovic (who will be presenting The Lecture for Women Only this Sunday), as well as musical icons Björk and Lou Reed.

Harry Winston salon at Harrods – August 10
For Harry Winston, diamonds were the ultimate adornment:“If I could,” he said, “I would attach diamonds directly onto a woman’s skin.” Eighty years after his company was founded, Harry Winston is still the destination of choice for those on the hunt for exceptional jewels in stunning classic and contemporary settings. And now more British fans of the design house can enjoy the work of the ‘King of Diamonds’, with the opening of the company’s second London boutique in Harrods fine jewellery salon. Opening on Friday 10th, the opening will also mark the UK launch of the Ultimate Adornments by Harry Winston range, alongside the bridal and timepieces collections.

Woman in a Dressing Gown Rerelease – August 13
J Lee Thompson's Golden Globe-winning drama, made in 1957, will be rereleased on DVD this month. Important in its anticipation of the British New Wave of Social Realism, it tells the story of a bored, lonely and depressed housewife (Yvonne Mitchell) and her attractive husband (Anthony Quayle), who embarks on an affair with his young, beautiful secretary.

Anna Pavlova on Screen at BFI Southbank – August 10-16
This year marks the centenary of iconic ballerina Anna Pavlova's purchase of her London home, Ivy House, where she lived until her death in 1931. The BFI is participating in the celebrations with a season of films featuring the dancer, including productions such as The Dying Swan (1917); her Hollywood feature film The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916); as well as screenings of Omnibus, the 70s documentary of her life, and the biopic Anna Pavlova: A Woman For All Time (1983).

Good Hunting: Season One at The Framer's Gallery – August 13-18
An exploration of social attitudes and British culture within urban environments, The Framer's Gallery's latest exhibition promises an exciting and challenging body of work, including abstract and figurative painting, illustration and photography, from five London-based artists of varying ages and backgrounds.

Brancolini Grimaldi's Summer Show‏ – until September 1
This month sees the opening of Brancolini Grimaldi's summer group exhibition and happily, given Britain's current bout of unpredictable weather, it is distinctly sunny in tone. Highlights include girls basking in the Florida sunshine on the bonnet of their car, courtesy of the brilliant Mitch Epstein; and Massimo Vitali's dreamy beach scenes, where bathers punctuate natural seascapes to beautiful effect.

The Proms 2012 – until September 8
AnOther classical music correspondant Sir Norman Rosenthal recommends: "You can hear everything from John Cage (on August 17), beginning with a site-specific walk through South Kensington, starting at 6pm, listening to music inspired by this most archetypal and inspiring of modern composers, who has influenced artists across all medias, right down to the present day. The big concert starts at 7.45 and goes on until 11.15, including legendary but rarely performed works such as his Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra. Britten's Peter Grimes, performed by English National Opera, and Marriage of Figaro, with this year's Glyndebourne cast, and a performance of John Adam's amazing bio-opera, Nixon in China with an outstanding cast and played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, who work especially hard during the Proms, will all make for splendid evenings. Great Foreign Orchestras are coming to the Proms this year, including from Berlin and Vienna, as well as St. Lewis, Leipzig,  Sao Paulo, from all around the United Kingdom, different youth orchestras from everywhere from New York to Vienna."