About us

Dance Umbrella is London’s international dance festival, celebrating 21st century choreography across the capital.

Dance Umbrella’s mission is to celebrate 21st century choreography. We do so enthusiastically and collaboratively through an annual, international London festival, through year-round creative learning opportunities for all ages, and by developing choreographic talent. Our aim is to entice audiences, nurture artists, innovate practice, and stimulate interest in the power of the body in motion.

Since 1978, Dance Umbrella (DU) has been bringing outstanding contemporary dance to London, presenting more than 739 artists from 34 countries to over one million people. The first to present Mark Morris, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Michael Clark and many more in the UK, DU has commissioned over 80 new works and presented at 72 different venues ranging from Smithfield Market to the British Library, from canal long boats to Alexandra Palace Ice Rink, from car park rooftops to outer London parks.

In 2013, Emma Gladstone was appointed Artistic Director & Chief Executive, introducing an ambitious new artistic vision and a new dynamic profile. Her goal is to take dance out and bring audiences in:

  • By expanding the definition of contemporary dance to include a wide range of movement forms, inviting artists working in and reflecting on the modern world in whatever style they choose
  • By reaching out to new audiences through commissioning new work, developing partnerships with non-dance venues (e.g. Young Vic, Unicorn), and forming an orbital touring network with arts centres in outer London boroughs

DU meets the need for an independent catalyst that can look, think and move differently. One that can shine a new light on the art form, and can play on an international stage by seeking out the most creative ideas, partners and locations to create extraordinary art with exceptional artists and make it accessible and engaging to audiences.

A creative force that can develop artists, audiences and the art form itself.