Freddie Opoku-Addaie appointed Artistic Director & CEO of Dance Umbrella

Freddie Opoku-Addaie, who has been a Guest Programmer at the festival from 2016-19, takes over from Emma Gladstone in March.

Photo: Miguel Altunaga Jr

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of our new Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Freddie Opoku-Addaie. Only the fourth person to hold this position in 43 years, Freddie heralds a new era in the festival’s artistic leadership.

A critically acclaimed choreographer, dancer/performer, curator and teacher and is also the recipient of several choreographic awards and commissions. East London-born, Freddie’s Ghanian heritage informs his art practice through which he references disparate movement styles, folkloric themes and structured choreography to make witty, conversational and affecting work.

Freddie was Guest Programmer for Dance Umbrella during a three-year initiative from 2016-2019. His Out of the System programme presented exhilarating work by dance practitioners from the UK and abroad (see below).

  • DU17 Yinka Esi Graves & Asha Thomas at Rich Mix. Photo: Pari Naderi

  • DU17 La Macana at Rich Mix. Photo Pari Naderi

  • DU18 Gregory Maqoma, Via Kanana at Shoreditch Town Hall. Photo Teresa Elwes

  • DU18 CRXSS PLATFXRM at Shoreditch Town Hall, curated by Ivan Blackstock. Photo Will Hartley

  • DU19 Jay Jay Revlon & Cai Revlon, The Big Pink Vogue Ball at Shoreditch Town Hall. Photo Leila Jones

  • DU19 THĒO INART, Becky Namgauds, Ffion Campbell-Davies, tyroneisaacstuart, Jonzi D; Out of the System: Mixed Bill at Bernie Grant Arts Centre. Photo Miguel Altunaga Jr

Freddie Opoku-Addaie said of his appointment: ‘I am thrilled to be working with the fantastic Dance Umbrella team again as the next Artistic Director and Chief Executive, following on from the visionary Emma Gladstone. I’m seeing and listening to a generation of artists, creatives and communities who are fueling a shared movement beyond the established mainstream platforms. This is an opportunity for a generation to tangibly expand the global festival stage for contemporary dance and performance. The artist and audience experience has shifted beyond 3Ts (Tick Box/Tokenism/Tolerated) of diversity. In challenging times it’s more essential than ever that we collaborate to deliver some exciting moves.’

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