Dance Umbrella Festival 2022

Dance Umbrella announces full programme for 2022 Festival

Dance Umbrella, London’s annual international contemporary dance festival has announced the full programme for 2022. Bringing the world’s most exciting international contemporary talent to stages across London, and online for audiences worldwide, this year’s programme has a particular focus on intersectional, diverse, innovative, international and national female dancemakers.

Artistic Director and Chief Executive Freddie Opoku-Addaie’s first full Dance Umbrella festival will take place from 7 – 23 October across the capital.

Freddie Opoku-Addaie said ‘I am buzzing sharing this year’s programme which is filled with talent, invention, intelligence and ferocity.  An intersectional mix of female artists lead the charge and I am proud to be able to platform multiple exceptional artists who have not been presented in London before.  Amongst the international line-up you will find eight UK premieres over 17 days in 12 locations.  Online, we have four world class dance films, panel discussions and the return of our popular Choreographer’s Cut series.  From Sound System culture to Seeking Unicorns – there will be something for everyone to enjoy and be inspired by across our beloved global city.’

Award-winning choreographer Oona Doherty (Northern Ireland) makes her Sadler’s Wells debut, returning to Dance Umbrella with the UK premiere of her latest, large-scale work Navy Blue. Using her distinctive and visceral choreographic style, Doherty creates an unsettling atmosphere as a dark night descends and a group of 12 dancers generate a sense of dread, trapped within a destructive algorithm.  The piece is set to music from Sergeï Rachmaninoff and Jamie xx.

Italian performer, director and choreographer Chiara Bersani brings her award-winning work Seeking Unicorns to the National Gallery for its London Premiere. Exploring the concept of the ‘Political Body’, Bersani’s latest work centres on the experience of the unicorn.

Multi award-winning international artist, nora chipaumire (Zimbabwe/USA) makes her Dance Umbrella debut at Bernie Grant Arts Centre with the World Premiere of ShebenDUB an audio-visual dub culture adventure. Part gig, part dance performance, part social event, chipaumire celebrates the creative and law-defying possibilities of dub, maintaining  that of the many African diasporic inventions, dub is the most provocative and questioning.

Dance Umbrella’s Four by Four next generation international talent commissioning programme culminates with the World Film Premiere of Abby Zbikowski and the New Utility’s Radioactive Practice. Featuring an original score by Raaphael Xavier that draws inspiration from hip-hop, metal and post punk, Radioactive Practice explores a full arsenal of physical possibilities to test its performers to their physical and mental limits. This genre-bending performance will challenge audience perceptions of what dance can be.

Three international artists perform at Brixton House in Change Tempoa specially curated mixed bill exploring themes of transformation, transmission and representation.  

Joy Alpuerto Ritter’s solo BABAE combines Philippine folk dance, classical, hip hop and vogue.  Linda Hayford uses popping to communicate her state of mind in the introspective, breakthrough solo creation ShapeshiftingIn Brazilian artists Luiz de Abreu and Calixto Neto’s profound solo work O Samba do Crioulo Doidochoreography is passed from one black body to another. By playing with stereotypical elements such as samba, carnival and eroticism, the piece mocks clichés and offers a humorous criticism.

Georgia Tegou & Michalis Theophanous open this year’s festival with a trip to a metaphorical universe in the UK Premiere of new work Reverie. Fusing movement and visual arts, the acclaimed duo conjures a fantasy-like world where characters evoke a surreal and swirling dreamlike state.

Alleyne Dance and the local community in Lewisham co-create a brand new large-scale outdoor performance, Close to Home: The Mass Dance Event, which features an intergenerational cast of 200 – 400 performers.

This year’s Orbital Tour, to 6 venues in every corner of London, including a first time visit to Studio 3 in Barking and Dagenham, is the UK premiere of a family show from de StilteDo-re-mi-ka-do creates a world where everyone can join the party, as sound, colour and movement combine to take family audiences into a limitless world of imagination, where play is encouraged and creativity knows no boundaries. 

Digital works to feature in the festival include films Forging Paths, SAY (UK) SAY AF (And Friends) and panel discussions Choreographer’s Cut and Sound In Motion – A Podcast Series. 

Dance Umbrella’s Digital Programme can be accessed by purchasing The Digital Pass, which is Pay What You Can (minimum £5) and will give audiences exclusive access to the entire digital programme within this year’s festival. All content will be released on the first day of the 2022 festival (7 October) and will be available on demand until Monday 31 October.

More information available here

Full listing information below

REVERIE – UK Premiere
Georgia Tegou & Michalis Theophanous (Greece)
The Place, Fri 7 & Sat 8 October, 7.30pm
Post Show Talk Fri 7 October

ShebenDUB World Premiere
nora chipaumire (Zimbabwe/USA)
Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Thu 13  & Fri 14  October, 7.30pm

nora chipaumore and Freddie Opoku-Addaie in conversation
Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Tue 11 October, 5.30pm

Change Tempo Triple Bill
Linda Hayford (France) Shapeshifting
Luiz de Abreu 
(Brazil) / Calixto Neto (Brazil) O Samba do crioulo doido  
Joy Alpeurto Ritter
 (Germany) BABAE
Brixton House, Wed 12 & Thu 13 October, 7.30pm

de Stilte (Netherlands)
Do-re-mi-ka-do UK Premiere

Orbital Tour Sat 15  – Sun 23 October Times vary

Studio 3 Arts 15 Oct
Watermans Art Centre 16 Oct
The Albany 20 Oct
Stanley Arts 21 Oct
The Place 22 Oct
arts depot 23 Oct 

Oona Doherty (Northern Ireland)  
Navy Blue UK Premiere
Sadler’s Wells, Fri 21 & Sat 22 October, 7.30pm
Post-show talk Fri 21 October with Oona Doherty & Freddie Opoku-Addaie. 

Chiara Bersani (Italy)
Seeking Unicorns London Premiere
National Gallery, Sat 22 & Sun 23 October, 12pm and 3pm 

Alleyne Dance (UK)
Close to Home: The Mass Dance Event World Premiere
Sedgehill Academy, Lewisham, Sat 22 & Sun 23 October, 2pm

Digital Programme

DU22’s digital programme can be viewed from 7 – 31 October and accessed by purchasing a pay what you can digital pass.


Abby Z and the New Utility (US)  – Radioactive Practice
nora chipaumire 
(Zimbabwe/USA) – #PUNK
 (UK) – SAY AF (And Friends)
Oona Doherty 
(Northern Ireland) – Hunter / The Devil

Panel Discussion | Candoco and Boy Blue: Forging Paths Tuesday 18 October, live at 5pm  Available on demand with your DU Digital Pass. 

Choreographer’s Cut
Saburo Teshigawara / KARAS
Wendy Houstoun
Hetain Patel

Julia Chen
Qudus Onuikeku

Sound In Motion – A Podcast Series.
Amy May
Mikey J Asante
Vince Lamagna.

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👤 📅23 June 2022

📷 Main photo: Dance Umbrella Festival 2022

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