Dance Umbrella announces final shows in line-up for festival 2019

17 May 2019

Artistic Director and Chief Executive Emma Gladstone of Dance Umbrella said ‘Dance Umbrella today announces the final third of its 2019 programme. Sixteen of the eighteen artists this year are making their DU debuts and in his centenary year we are proud to present works by Merce Cunningham at the Linbury Theatre. Our pan-London festival is taking place in thirteen different boroughs spanning zones 1 to 5; so charge your oysters and prepare to come on a journey that crosses continents and reveals what dance is and can be. Come and join us.’

DU: The future bursts in

Amala Dianor (Fr/Senegal) Somewhere in the Middle of Infinity – UK Premiere
CCN – Ballet De Lorraine (France) For Four Walls UK premiere
CCN – Ballet de Lorraine Sounddance by Merce Cunningham (USA)
Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House: Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 October 7.45pm Matinee Sat 26 October 2pm

Opening this celebratory evening is a radiant trio by Senegal-born Amala Dianor, replete with fluid, looping gestures exploring human bonds, Somewhere in the Middle of Infinity seduces with serene yet powerful encounters derived from a 21st-century meeting of African, hip-hop and contemporary styles. In the second half, CCN – Ballet de Lorraine’s connection with Cunningham is reflected in a re-reading of a once-lost 1944 work. Retaining John Cage’s piano score, For Four Walls sets 24 dancers in motion to new choreography by Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley inside a mirrored space. To end, the unpredictability and riotous dynamism of Cunningham’s 1975 classic, Sounddance – provides a perfect salute to his Centennial.

Panel discussion: Merce in the UK
Siobhan Davies Studio: Wednesday 23 October 7.30pm

Chaired by Jeremy Millar, panellists Richard Alston, Gavin Bryars, Julie Cunningham and Siobhan Davies will talk about the lasting legacy and influence of Merce Cunningham.

Freddie Opoku-Addaie – Out of the System

In the third and final year of DU’s Out of the System initiative, choreographer, performer and educator Freddie Opoku-Addaie’s curational acumen reaches for the glitter ball in the sky with this timely and FUN-tastic vogue ball, which runs alongside a tantalising quadruple bill of UK talent; Freddie has also programmed an afternoon of Sunday Cinema as previously announced.

Out of the System – The Big Pink Vogue Ball
Jay Jay Revlon & Cai Revlon (UK)
Shoreditch Town Hall: Saturday 12 October 8.30pm (Doors 8pm) – late

Anyone who came to CRXSS PLATFXRM last year will have a sense of how DU and Freddie embrace dance as a social, shareable and (optionally) participatory activity and with the recent storming success of TV show Pose, everyone is going to want to get in on this act! The Big Pink Vogue Ball will be a spectacle with a party atmosphere to end all party atmospheres. Get on down and strike a pose!

Out of the System: Mixed Bill
Becky Namgauds (UK) – Exhibit F
THĒO INARTS (UK) – FIM (Fragility In Man) Part 1
Ffion Campbell-Davies and tyroneisaacstuart (UK) – Beyond Words
Jonzi D (UK) – Aeroplane Man
Bernie Grant Arts Centre: Tuesday 22 – Wednesday 23 October, 7.30pm

Becky Namgaud’s Exhibit F is a creature of the night; half bold, free and sensual, half weak, suppressed and controlled. Veering between victim and predator, testing measures of power and submission in equal magnitude; we encounter the female form under a new gaze. The male form is the intimate focus of THĒO INART’s solo Fragility in Man, alive with telling symbolism and visual storytelling. Collaborating in Beyond Words, Ffion Campbell-Davies and tyroneisaacstuart call on their exploration of dance, music and authenticity to question how humans converse.

Inspired by the experience of working-class racism and continual reminders from white England that ‘you ain’t really from here…’ Aeroplane Man is Jonzi D’s now iconic, true story of a young black man’s global quest to find his spiritual homeland. A unique fusion of rhyme and lyrically motivated movement, this critically acclaimed ‘choreo-poem’ is delivered with Jonzi’s trademark wit and closes the evening.

Out of the System – Panel Discussion
Tick Box / Break Glass / Look Pretty
Young Vic: Saturday 12 October 5.15pm

Examining the changes and opportunities in the arts for women of colour, this discussion explores how we can carve new and enduring pathways in and outside of the current system. Facilitated by Dawn Estefan (psychotherapist, writer, trainer & speaker) panellists including:

Julia Cheng (dancer, choreographer & Artistic Director of House of Absolute), Nike Jonah (Visiting Research Fellow, Central School of Speech and Drama), Tracy Gentles (Co-Director,The Sick of the Fringe).

Lucy Guerin (Australia) – UK Premiere

The Place: Saturday 12 – Sunday 13 October 7.30pm

With one dancer clothed, one naked, two fearless female performers dance in flawless unison; their movements first poised, then animalistic. Moving impeccably through their compelling duet, they navigate the terrain of a stark and diminishing set to a shamanistic, looping drum score by British electronic composer Scanner with increasing tension and an undercurrent of conflict.

DU: Fairfield Takeover
Boy Blue (UK) – REDD
The Urban Playground Team (UK/France) To Fly Before We Fall – UK premiere Mythili Prakash – Here and Now – UK premiere
Philippe Saire – Hocus Pocus – London premiere (DU Orbital Tour)
Fairfield Halls, Croydon: Friday 18 – Saturday 19 October

Filling and spilling out of Fairfield Halls’ beautifully redeveloped spaces, this weekend Takeover features a mix of international dance, pop-up events, performance-parkour thrills, homegrown talent, workshops and mayhem for all ages to the heart of Croydon. Joining previously announced artists Mythili Prackash and Philippe Saire, The Urban Playground Team is known for its authentic fusion of free running and streetwise dance. Superstar hip- hop company Boy Blue performs its latest large-scale production, wrapping up the weekend with the final Takeover performance.

There are so many more ways to get involved, including your chance to become a DIY choreographer – see the Dance Umbrella website for the full programme.