News

Dance Umbrella announces further line-up for festival 2019

4 Jun 2019


DU19 Hocus Pocus, Philippe Saire. Photo Philippe Pache

London’s international festival of contemporary dance takes place across the capital from 8 – 27 October 2019!

Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella, introduces the programme: ‘Dance Umbrella is on the move. This year we will be reaching audiences right across the capital, travelling to more locations than ever before with performances made by choreographers hailing from Africa, Australia, USA and of course Europe. Imagination is the force that makes change possible, and as creators, inventors, thinkers and dreamers they have things to share with all of us. Roll on October.’

Oona Doherty (Northern Ireland) is DU19’s Featured Artist. She will be presenting London premieres of two works, curating one of three afternoons of short dance films at the Barbican and creating work with girls as part of DU’s Access Croydon programme.

Hard to be Soft – London Premiere
Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall: Friday 11 October 8pm

Having picked up awards at Dublin and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, Oona Doherty makes her London debut at Dance Umbrella with her searing evocation of the city streets of Belfast. Hard to be Soft unfolds over four distinct verses and, in a tender tribute, weaves everyday stories into a tapestry of mesmerising movement, religious iconography and haunting sound by DJ David Holmes. Doherty’s unpredictable style and unique way of structuring her work, together with her knack for confounding conventions, has made her stand out as a highly original talent whose work is charged with raw physicality and poetic desire.

Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with Southbank Centre

Hope Hunt & The Ascension into Lazarus – London Premiere
The Yard: Monday 14 – Wednesday 16 October 7.30pm

Oona Doherty’s solo performance is bursting with fury, swagger and humanity. Hope Hunt shatters facades, dismantles stereotypes and finds beauty on the periphery. Doherty adopts multiple personas of disaffected male youth – too often disregarded and stigmatised – and channels aggression, humour, hedonism, joy and despair in quick-fire succession.

Fragmented and meticulously detailed, her intuitive social portrait vibrates with blistering physical and vocal energy. Gestures, words and utterances combine in a wholly distinctive body language, contorting ideas of masculinity and morality. Doherty invites audiences to look behind the mask of ego and affectation.

Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with The Yard

Gregory Maqoma (South Africa) – Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero – UK Premiere
Barbican: Thursday 17 –Saturday 19 October 7.45pm

A rousing dance theatre work, Cion transfixes us with choreography of rhythmic dexterity and ecstatic intensity to the sounds of a live South African choir.
Making his third Dance Umbrella appearance since 2015, celebrated dancer and choreographer Gregory Maqoma is Toloki – a paid mourner confronting a world in which greed, power and religious ideology lead so often to the normalisation of needless death and loss.

Inspired by the protagonist from South African author Zakes Mda’s stories, this physical lamentation unfolds to the musical motif of Ravel’s Bolero, reinterpreted here through stirring song and percussion by four traditional vocalists joined onstage by eight gifted artists from Vuyani Dance Theatre. Maqoma, who sees art as a commentary on how we treat others, created this soaring piece as a response to contemporary political events in his own country and globally.

Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with the Barbican