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Dance Umbrella Launches 2016 Festival – 7-22 Oct 2016


Dance Umbrella LAUNCHES 2016 FESTIVAL
7 – 22 OCTOBER 2016


Dimitris Papaioannou’S primal matter


One of India’s leading dance makers, Aditi Mangaldas, makes her debut appearance at Barbican with Inter_rupted
Box Office: 020 7257 9384

The programme for Dance Umbrella 2016 has been announced today by Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, taking place in 16 venues across London from 7 – 22 October 2016. The annual festival, championing 21st century choreography, presents work from a swathe of inventive and insightful artists. This year’s line-up includes three Dance Umbrella commissions, two world premieres, one European premiere, three UK premieres and two London premieres. Tickets go on sale from 26 May.

 “2016 will see Dance Umbrella mixing some truly extraordinary international choreographers with rich, home-grown talent.  In addition to the choreographic and geographic range, the festival performances include live music, fresh grass and a completely anonymous programme.   With work from six different countries on show I am particularly proud of the three made possible by our Commission Fund. “
Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Dance Umbrella

Opening the festival, Dance Umbrella has co-commissioned Unknown Pleasures with Sadler’s Wells and CCN – Ballet de Lorraine, where five choreographers will present work anonymously in one programme. Dance Umbrella is delighted to welcome back Jérôme Bel with Gala, a city-specific commission which features 20 Londoners from all walks of life at three locations in the city including The Tanks at Tate Modern. One of India’s leading dance makers, Aditi Mangaldas, will make her first appearance at The Barbican with Inter_rupted.

Dance Umbrella is touring Erik Kaiel’s Tetris / O Snap / No Man is an Island around London, perfect for children, as is Netherlands-based De Dansers’ family-friendly Dream City at The Unicorn Theatre;  at The Old Truman Brewery, celebrated Greek Olympic choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou presents Primal Matter, where visual art comes to life; Hege Haagenrud will present Use My Body While It’s Still Young at The Place, a piece looking at our obsession with youth featuring four dancers aged from 65 – 79.

The Secret Slowness of Movement by Laura Dannequin at David Roberts Art Gallery is an installation which invites audiences to indulge in fresh green grass; new British dance provocateur Jamila Johnson-Small will present i ride in colour and soft focus, no longer anywhere at Rich Mix; Wallflower by Manchester based Quarantine will be performed at Battersea Arts Centre and explores memories of the dances that run through our lives, from school disco to wedding waltz.

Unknown Pleasures, CCN – Ballet de Lorraine at Sadler’s Wells (WORLD PREMIERE)

Friday 7 – Saturday 8* October, 7.30pm, £20

*Free audience-led post show talk, ‘Talking Amongst Ourselves’, Saturday 8 October
Unknown Pleasures is a completely anonymous programme – no names, no fame and no glory – just the chance to experience an evening of dance unencumbered by preconceptions.

Five international choreographers – four women and one man ranging from their 30s to their 70s – have shared their distinctive creative voices to create an evening of invention and surprise.  It is a choreographic carte blanche for both audiences and creators.

This world premiere is curated by Dance Umbrella together with pioneering French company Centre Chorégraphique National – Ballet de Lorraine.  We have invited choreographers to create something free from reputation, attribution or audience expectation, to see what comes our way.   Enjoy.
Commissioned by Dance Umbrella and CCN – Ballet de Lorraine with Sadler’s Wells London, CODA Festival Norway and Dansenshus Oslo . Supported by the Institut Français

A Dance Umbrella initiative


i ride in colour and soft focus, no longer anywhere, Jamila Johnson-Small at Rich Mix (PREMIERE)
Saturday 8 October, 8.30pm & Sunday 9* October, 7.00pm, £15 (Concessions £12)

Free post-show talk/Meet the artists, Sunday 9 October

Last Yearz Interesting Negro, aka Jamila Johnson-Small, is one of the new generation of British dance provocateurs working with an instinct for the offbeat, a feeling for the friction that lies between things, and an insistence on putting pleasure over doing it right.

In her latest choreography i ride in colour and soft focus, no longer anywhere she engages the idea of multiple stories and conversations existing in one body.  These physical, visual and audio stories are constantly forming and reforming in a dense, hybrid narrative that re-imagines what it is to be present.  The piece has its first outing in Dance Umbrella.
Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with Rich Mix
Tetris / O Snap / No Man is an Island, Erik Kaiel
Saturday 8 October at Stratford Circus Arts Centre, 3pm (Tetris) and 6pm (O Snap)
Sunday 9 October at artsdepot, 3pm (No Man is an Island) and 3.30pm (Tetris)
Sunday 16 October at The Watermans, 3pm (Tetris)
Tuesday 18 October at The Albany, 7.30pm (No Man is an Island)

Thursday 20 October at The Broadway Theatre, Barking, 7.30pm (Tetris)

Saturday 22 October at The Unicorn Theatre, 10.30 and 1.30pm (Tetris)

Prices range from £8 – £16 (Details online)

Erik Kaiel’s work is unorthodox, acrobatic and perfect for children (and grown-ups) who can’t sit still.

Inspired by playground games and the casual way that kids fling themselves about, his dancers tumble and contort, exploring the limits of their bodies. It’s awesome.

Dance Umbrella is touring three programmes from this Dutch company around London: Tetris (6+), based on the eponymous computer game, in which four dancers work as a faultless unit, uniquely dependent on one another. O Snap (10+) focuses on the stumbling blocks of our teenage years where emotions and friends rule.   And finally the popular duet No Man is an Island (6+), which has been enjoyed across four continents to date.

A Dance Umbrella Orbital London Tour in partnership with the Albany, artsdepot, Stratford Circus Arts Centre, and Watermans, plus the Broadway Theatre in Barking and the Unicorn Theatre

Supported by The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Gala, Jérôme Bel (UK PREMIERE)
Tuesday 11 October at Bernie Grant Arts Centre, 7pm £20
Saturday 15 October at The Tanks, Tate Modern, 4pm & 7pm (a 30 minute excerpt), £10 (£8 concessions)
Tuesday 18 & Wednesday 19* October at Sadler’s Wells, 7.30pm, £12 – £27
*Free audience-led post-show talk, ‘Talking Amongst Ourselves’, Wednesday 19 October

Jérôme Bel’s Gala is a captivating showcase of dance – amateur, professional and everything in between. It is a liberating show that encourages us, the audience, to re-consider the judgements we make watching performers on stage.

Twenty dancers fill the space. They are Londoners, who come from all walks of life, some young and fit, some older and less so, but together they shatter the sanctity of the stage with a mixture of joy, passion and often failure.

Following the success of Disabled Theatre in DU 2014, and Candoco’s recent version of The Show Must Go On, Dance Umbrella is delighted to have co-commissioned this latest work by Paris-based choreographer Jérôme Bel.

A Dance Umbrella co-production in partnership with Bernie Grant Arts Centre, LIFT, TATE and Sadler’s Wells.  Co-producers: Dance Umbrella (London), TheaterWorks Singapore/72-13, KunstenFestivaldesArts (Brussels), Tanzquartier Wien, Nanterre-Amandiers Centre Dramatique National, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Theater Chur (Chur) and TAK Theater Liechtenstein (Schaan) – TanzPlan Ost, Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), La Commune Centre dramatique national d’Aubervilliers, Tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf), House on Fire with the support of the European Union cultural program.  Supported by the Institut Français
Primal Matter, Dimitris Papaioannou at The Old Truman Brewery (LONDON PREMIERE)

Wednesday 12 – Friday 14 October, 8pm, £28 (Concessions £22)
In Primal Matter Greek artist Dimitris Papaioannou employs the simplest of means – the human body – in a personal response to the new political, social and ethical realities of today’s Europe.

Throughout the work the two performers struggle between matter and mind, creator and creation. Moving through a series of identities and attitudes they manipulate their bodies into intriguing, unsettling and witty images.

Papaioannou first established an international reputation when he created the epic opening ceremony for the 2004 Athens Olympics.  A director, choreographer, performer and visual artist, he has reached far beyond traditional art forms, taking storytelling to a new level.
Papaioannou directed the Emmy Award winning Baku 2015 European Games Opening Ceremony.


Presented by Dance Umbrella with the support of the DP Syndicate and the Artistic Director’s Circle

Co-Produced by the Athens Festival (2012) and 2WORKS (2013) with the support of EMPAC (New York)

Travel sponsor AEGEAN Airlines

With thanks to The Truman Brewery and Robin Price


The Secret Slowness of Movement, Laura Dannequin at David Roberts Art Gallery

Friday 14 October, 4 – 8pm & Saturday 15 October, 2 – 6pm, Free


Laura Dannequin’s installation is an invitation to take some time out of our busy lives.  It’s a space for quiet contemplation, a dance floor for anonymous unwinding, an after party.  Featuring an ever-changing light and soundscape, it is a genuinely sensory experience where a floor of fresh grass invites you to kick off your shoes, to soften and melt for a while.

Dannequin created The Secret Slowness of Movement as a response to a period of injury and pain which left her unable to dance, or move much at all.   The result is a shared refuge where time slows down. Come and go as you please, the space is open to all.
Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with the David Roberts Art Gallery
Use My Body While It’s Still Young, Hege Haagenrud at The Place (UK PREMIERE)

Wednesday 19 & Thursday 20* October, 8pm, £18 (Concessions £12)
Pre-show talk, ‘Creative Aging Centre Stage’ Panel Discussion, Thursday 20 October, 6.00 – 7.30pm, £5 (free to ticket holders)

In an age obsessed with the worship of youth, and beauty defined through youth, where does that leave those who are no longer young?


It is this issue that award-winning Norwegian choreographer Hege Haagenrud explores in her extraordinarily insightful Use My Body While It’s Still Young.  Danced by four performers aged 65 to 79, all of whom have had long and successful careers as dancers, it confronts our pre-conceptions with the reality and sensuality of ageing.


The music, played live by composer Rebekka Karijord, accompanies video footage and recordings of personal stories.  Haagenrud makes a welcome return to Dance Umbrella following performances at the Unicorn 2014 with this memorable work for adults.
Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with The Place
Supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy


Inter_rupted, Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company at Barbican (EUROPEAN PREMIERE)

Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 October, 7.45pm, £16 – £28

Free post-show talk / Meet the Artists, Friday 21 October
Celebrated Indian dance maker Aditi Mangaldas imaginatively infuses the ancient art form kathak with 21st-century sound, rhythm and light.


Seven dancers including Mangaldas are joined by three musicians for a startling rich and intricate piece that emerges from the depths of the body, exploring its fragility, disintegration and renewal.


Considered a maverick in her country, the choreographer has consistently broken ground with her visionary merging of classic and contemporary Indian dance styles. Unafraid to confront social and present-day concerns, her eloquent and dynamic work is characterised by percussive footwork, narrative gestures and dizzying spins. On Inter_rupted, she collaborates with Fabiana Piccioli, much admired for her striking lighting designs and winner of the Knight of Illumination Award.


Tickets go on sale to Barbican Members Plus on Wednesday 11 May, Barbican Members on Friday 13 May and general sale on Monday 16 May.
A Dance Umbrella Commission

Presented in partnership with the Barbican
Supported by Drishtikon Dance Foundation with Akademi and Aakash Odedra Company
Wallflower, Quarantine at Battersea Arts Centre (LONDON PREMIERE)
Thursday 20 – Friday 21 October, 7.30pm, £15 (Concessions £12.50)
Saturday 22 October, 4pm, An epic five hour version of Wallflower – come and go as you please for this one-off celebration on the final night of the festival, £17.50 (Concessions £15)

It’s unlikely that you remember every dance you’ve ever danced – the school disco, your first slow dance, a drunken boogie down the street or a wedding waltz perhaps?  Well Wallflower is here to remind you.

Something of a dance chameleon, Wallflower changes at every show as each performer chooses which of their memories of dancing to dance.   Each of them brings a treasure trove filled with the joy of movement.

Manchester based Quarantine are a unique voice in British theatre.  They create performances firmly rooted in the here and now, examining the minutia of everyday lives and experiences.

Sat 22 Oct 4pm: An epic five hour version of Wallflower. Come and go as you please for this one-off celebration on the final night of the festival.

Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre

Dream City
, De Dansers at The Unicorn Theatre (LONDON PREMIERE)
Saturday 22 October from 3pm and 7pm
£12 – £18 (Concessions £8 – £12)

An exhilarating rollercoaster of a show, Dream City (11+) is a dance party where seven musicians and dancers share the stage.  Sometimes the performers are firmly in the present, bouncing off each other like human pin-balls, at other times they move in a world of their own.

The music propels the dancers on as they play games of daring and exuberant one-upmanship, creating organised chaos as they go.  It’s not long before the stage fills with discarded costumes and bodies, like some mad dressing up party.

De Dansers, based in The Netherlands, are known for their full on, energetic family shows, and Dream City is no exception.  Come along and enjoy the ride.

Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with the Unicorn Theatre

Body Politic 2016 at Free Word Centre, Farringdon Road, EC1
Wednesday 19 October, 5.15pm, £5
Freedom of Movement
How does a climate of censorship affect art?

Body Politic is Dance Umbrella’s strand of discussions and debates focusing on key cultural issues affecting dance and performance.

There are different ways of not being allowed to speak. In this discussion we ask choreographers how issues of censorship, both public and private, are reflected in their art. How does censorship affect the language of the body? Are there things that we cannot say, even when not using language?

Chair: Julia Farrington, Index on Censorship. Panel to be confirmed.

Wed 19 October 5.15pm, Tickets £5, Free Word Centre Farringdon Road, EC1 020 7324 2570

A Dance Umbrella initiative, presented in partnership with Free Word, Index on Censorship and One Dance UK


How to book:

Phone:  Dance Umbrella on 020 7257 9384.
Or through partner venues

Concessions & Groups:  For details visit the website or call Dance Umbrella

Access Information and Tickets:  Contact the venue or contact Dance Umbrella on 020 7257 9384 /

British Sign Language:  Please visit the website or email for more information

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