In 2014 we launched our Re-Search Programme, which takes place throughout the year providing time and space for invited artists to test choreographic ideas and collaborations before committing to starting in on creating a new project.
The first Re-Search project of 2014 was awarded to young London choreographer Ivan Blackstock. This gave him a week of investigation in preparation for his show A Harlem Dream, which went on to become the sell-out hit of Dance Umbrella 2014.
In 2015 we supported theatre maker Katherine Morley and choreographer Rosie Heafford to work together on developing the movement for the show 16 Singers, which was seen by 676 babies and their grown-ups and nominated for a Family Arts Award. “The R&D…was extremely useful, creative and enjoyable [time} that allowed Kitty and I to test some ideas with music and 16 people in the room…I came away from that day with an arsenal of movements and movement language which I can now play with, strip back and place within the show.” Choreographer Rosie Heafford
Award winning lighting designer Lucy Carter, familiar to recent Dance Umbrella audiences for her memorable work with Canadian skaters Le Patin Libre, used her Re-Search Programme support to work on ideas for First Light. This ambitious project revolved around the idea to build and programme a sound and light installation made of a ‘forest’ of vertical lighting poles for choreographers and audiences to come and create on, in and around it.
In 2017 Dance Umbrella supported Patrick Eakin Young, Director of London-based company Erratica, to develop his idea for a Pinball Ballet called For Amusement Only. The piece works as an interactive game played through a real pinball machine, and using projection to fill an entire room or installation space. The player becomes both the choreographer and the composer of the piece, creating an original performance for other viewers to watch, while also being part of it. Patrick has been working with composer Matt Rogers, and dancers in New York and London including Rambert, to develop material, and refine the software needed to develop his ideas.
Supported by Dance Umbrella in partnership with the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project director Sasha Milavic Davies and composer Lucy Railton have been working on Everything That Rises Must Dance, a performance for 200 women. The choreography, being developed by Sasha in collaboration with the participants, comprises two strands: minutely reproduced movements of daily life, gathered through close observation of women at bus stops, lunch queues, in bars, clubs and other public spaces; and fragments of women’s folk dances from around the world.
Plans are for the piece to be set to original music created during the project by Lucy. Sounds and tunes that hold symbolic meaning for the participants are going to be combined with recordings from the research and the dancers themselves to create an abstract sonic accompaniment that evolves with the choreography.
The Jerwood Choreographic Research Project is a National Dance Network initiative. Partners supporting this project alongside Dance Umbrella include Dance XChange, Greenwich Dance, Sadler’s Wells and Trinity Laban.