Four by Four Commissions

In 2018 all three of Dance Umbrella’s Artistic Directors – Val Bourne CBE, Betsy Gregory and Emma Gladstone – invited an established artist from their time at the helm to nominate a ‘choreographer of the future’ as part of a new commissioning project, Four by Four, to celebrate Dance Umbrella’s 40th anniversary.  Four by Four is a transformational intervention for these young artists as they emerge as dance makers and create a piece of repertoire which, after premiering in London, is then available for touring worldwide.
To change and to diversify audiences for dance in the future, Four by Four disrupts the top-down approach to curation, introducing more creation and risk into our programme. It gives four artists, previously unknown to DU, a platform at one of the world’s leading dance festivals.  Their fresh perspectives will help us continue to attract new and younger attendees for dance while providing bold work for established audiences.


The artists selected for Four by Four:
Mythili Prakash – nominated by Akram Khan
Georgia Vardarou – nominated by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker
Jon Maya Sein – nominated by Rocío Molina
Abby Zbikowski – nominated by Stephen Petronio


Thanks to your generous funding and support, we are delighted to present two new works at Dance Umbrella festival 2019 from our Four by Four artists: Here and Now by Mythili Prakash, premiering at Fairfield Halls and Why Should It Be More Desirable … ? by Georgia Vardarou at Sadler’s Wells.
Commissions from Jon Maya Sein and Abby Zbikowski will be presented at Dance Umbrella festival 2020.


Your donation could make the crucial difference in reaching our target and presenting these four exceptional artists across our festivals in 2019 and 2020.






In May 2019 we launched a month-long Four by Four fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to raise £5,000 for Georgia Vardarou and Mythili Prakash. Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, we exceeded our target and raised £5,157. Check out our campaign page here.



Four by Four Commissioning Circle

To support the Four by Four fundraising campaign and help us to bring four brilliant new artists to the stage, join Dance Umbrella’s commissioning circle.
• Invitation to a special insight event;
• Recognition on our website as a Four by Four supporter;
• Involvement in the life of Dance Umbrella with first-hand news of our activities year-round.
£500+  All of the above plus:
• An invitation to the 2018 Festival opening night party;
• An invitation to a Four by Four commission premiere.
£1,000+  All of the above plus:
• Invitation to a Four by Four commission rehearsal/insight event;
• Invitations to all four of the Four by Four commission premieres.
£2,500+  All of the above plus:
• Invitation to an event with the Dance Umbrella CEO & Artistic Director and Four by Four artists.
• Preferred seating at the commission premieres and Four by Four crediting across Dance Umbrella’s literature where applicable.
Donate Now to Four by Four or contact for further information.


A huge thank you to the founding donors of our Four by Four Commissioning Circle
Llewellyn Griffiths
“Felix Appelbe” Contributive Society
Jane and Robin Price
Jules & Cheryl Burns
Des and Liz Gunewardena
Sandi & Jake Ulrich
Dr John L Collins
Eva & John de Blocq van Kuffeler
Erica Boyer
Pauline Heerema
Proudfood Ltd
Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire
Chris Barlas
Tony Dyson
Ruth Glick & Jonathan Green
The Hochhauser Foundation
Nicholas Hooton & Robert Schofield
Graham Marchant
Peter and Kathryn Kyle
Bill Gee
Nelson Fernandez
David R White
Christopher and Julia Barron
Colin Nears
Manohari Saravanamuttu
Robert Israel for Gordon & Co
Jane Nicholas
Sheila Colvin
Toby Beazley
Douglas Dunn
Betsy Gregory
Dame Seona Reid
Prue Skene CBE
Mary Caws
Tania Harrison
Professor Tim Blackman
Fern & Clive Potter
Howard Friend
Sue Hoyle
Brian Harris
Nigel Hinds & Judith Ackrill
Louise Costelloe
Clare Farrow
Robin Pauley
Jean-Marc Puissant
Graham Sheffield
And all of our donors who wish to remain anonymous.