Dance Umbrella celebrates its 40th Anniversary programme!

When Hui - Red. Photo by Laurent Philippe

Dance Umbrella, London’s flagship festival of international dance celebrates its 40th anniversary this autumn and announces its full 2018 programme.

Dance Umbrella will take place from 26 September – 21 October 2018 and opens with Big Dance Theater’s UK debut at The Old Vic with 17c, a romp through the bracingly frank diaries of Samuel Pepys co-directed by Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar.

Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella, introduces the programme:

“Each Dance Umbrella festival has its own flavour, and this year is no exception. In our 40th year, it is a tribute to founder Val Bourne CBE that the strength of the foundations she laid in 1978 enable us to still stand here today. I’m thrilled that we’ll be kicking off DU 2018 with our first ever performance at The Old Vic, introducing London audiences to the remarkable Big Dance Theater, and closing the festival at the Alexandra Palace Ice Rink with the highly anticipated return of Le Patin Libre.

Looking back at the pioneering role Dance Umbrella has played in London’s cultural landscape, I am extremely proud that we remain an independent organisation, with performances happening in more locations than ever before. World class, international artists from twelve countries are heading our way this year in a programme of unpredictable variety and celebration of dance like no other.”

“Each Dance Umbrella festival has its own flavour, and this year is no exception.”

Dadodans – KoKERS. Photo by Studio van Pelt

Some highlights of the program include:

  • Sasha Milavic Davies’s everything that rises must dance is a compelling celebration of female movement created with more than 200 women from across London.
  • Guest programmer Freddie Opoku-Addaie curates his second Out of the System – a festival-within-a-festival at Shoreditch Town Hall which features three vibrant nights of international dance and music.
  • Ivan Blackstock will present CRXSS PLATFXRM as part of Out of the System, with new artists bringing fresh perspectives to street culture and dance.
  • In Red at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room Beijing-based choreographer, Wen Hui invites audiences to look again at a famous Chinese ballet from the period of the Cultural Revolution as part of Southbank Centre’s China Changing Festival.
  • Armed with a turntable, portable speakers and sheets of flooring, the Olivier- nominated Colin Dunne takes on the ‘undanceable’ music of the enigmatic Tommie Potts in Concert at The Pit, Barbican Centre.
  • Dimitris Papaioannou returns to Dance Umbrella with his enigmatic exploration of life in the internationally acclaimed The Great Tamer, making his debut at Sadler’s Wells.
  • A plethora of cardboard tubes, playful choreography and percussive sound combine to form KoKERS a show for 3+ years by Dutch company Dadodans.
  • The effortlessly engaging Le Patin Libre defy every convention of figure skating to evolve a new dance form – on ice. The Montreal-based company return to Dance Umbrella with the UK premiere of Threshold at Alexandra Palace Ice Rink.
  • Dance and theatre dramaturg Ruth Little will speak at the National Theatre as part of the Dance Umbrella Lecture series, followed by a Q&A led by Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone. Plus a multitude of extra events, talks and screenings throughout festival 2018.

You can find the whole program here.