Emma Gladstone awarded OBE

Former Dance Umbrella Artistic Director & Chief Executive recognised in Queen’s 2021 Birthday Honours List

Emma Gladstone, photo by Hugo Glendinning

Emma Gladstone, most recently Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella, has been awarded an OBE for her services to dance, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021.

On receiving the OBE, Emma said:

“To be nominated by peers for an award such as this means the world to me. I am genuinely delighted and honoured by it, and overwhelmed by the generous response from friends and colleagues in the sector.

Two thoughts keep staying with me. Nothing is achieved without teamwork, and the DU team are legends. Secondly, let’s modernise that E word.”

Before stepping down from the role in March 2021, in Emma’s eight-years at the organisation she curated seven dance festivals, presenting over 80 artists and companies from across the world. Her programming has reached 17 London Boroughs, visiting over 50 different locations across the capital.

Dance Umbrella festival 1989 'Flesh and blood' The Chomondeleys (Lea Anderson) - Emma Gladstone photographed by Chris Nash

Previously Emma was Artistic Programmer at Sadler’s Wells 2005-13, and worked extensively with the British Council, Southbank Centre, The Place and the Rolex Mentor Protégé programme. Before programming Emma danced for many years with Arlene Phillips, Lea Anderson’s The Cholmondeleys, and co-founded Adventures in Motion Pictures with Sir Matthew Bourne.

Also acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List was Dance Umbrella Patron, Arlene Phillips, who has been made Dame, having previously been awarded a CBE in 2013.

Arlene is a world-renowned director and choreographer, whose work has been seen on West End and Broadway stages, feature films, concert arenas, television, music videos and commercials. In 2010 she became a Patron of Dance Umbrella.


We want to extend our congratulations to all the individuals who have been recognised for their services to Dance:

Arlene Philips – Choreographer: For services to Dance and Charity

Theresa Beattie – For services to Dance and Dancers
Hilary Carty – Director, Clore Leadership. For her services to Leadership Development in the Cultural and Creative Industries.
Emma Gladstone – Former Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Dance Umbrella. For services to Dance.
Brendan Keaney – Chief Executive, Dance East. For services to Dance.

Samantha Moore – For services to Dance (West Yorkshire)
Stephanie Phillip – For services to Dance and Musical Theatre (North Yorkshire)


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