Live events announced for Dance Umbrella Festival 2021

Dance Umbrella returns this October with a number of live, in-person performances for the first time since 2019, alongside a collection of digital events aimed at sparking conversations, inspiring creativity and celebrating choreographic talent.

Photos by Sophie Bradbury, Joshua Morris, Vimel Budhev, Summer Dean and Camilla Greenwood

Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Freddie Opoku-Addaie, said

This is very much a transitional year for Dance Umbrella. As a freelance creative practitioner, and in my new role as Artistic Director/Chief Executive, I know and see the inequities that have been exacerbated during the past 18 months. Working with its partners, DU has a vital role to play in continuing to widen the offer of diverse work and championing artists to find new ways of working collaboratively. The new twin-track programme of live and digital work reflects the festival’s ongoing aspirations, but also indicates a new direction and some fresh perspective, with Dance Umbrella debuts from many independent artists. DU welcomes audiences from across and beyond London to enjoy many different forms of dance and share the excitement in our global city.

The live programme includes performances from the extraordinary visual artist and theatre-maker Dimitris Papaioannou, and a Dance Umbrella Festival debut from Japanese artist Takeshi Matsumoto with a new sensory show for under 5’s. Dance Umbrella continues to expand the reach of its work in outer London Boroughs as it travels to Bell Square in Hounslow to present an exhilarating new live outdoor work created by performance-maker Ahilan Ratnamohan and a brand new piece from Dance Umbrella’s Assemble project with West Thames College by Becky Namgauds and tyroneisaacstuart.

The live work continues with a takeover of Watermans Art Centre in Brentford with two action-packed days of live performances including a double-bill from Dani Harris-Walters and Kesha Raithatha, an International Dance Short Film programme curated by Omari ‘Motion’ Carter and join host Jennifer Irons for a live dancesploration of where contemporary dance came from, where it is now and how we got here in DanceStory. Dance Umbrella’s online programme will bring audiences closer to choreographers and how they create in Choreographer’s Cut, celebrate pioneers in their fields in intimate conversations between established artists and those they have inspired to dance, as well as give audiences exclusive access to a curated film programme and streamed performances, thought-provoking articles and topical panel discussions and workshops.

Dance Umbrella Festival will take place from 8-24 October 2021 across the capital city.

Further programming and full digital event schedule to be announced in September.

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