Dance Umbrella 2017
Dance Umbrella 2017 has just announced the programme for this year’s festival, with an eclectic selection of performers taking over a variety of unlikely London venues
All this over the two very busy weeks from 11 - 28 October.
The range of performers is as wide as the choice of venues. So, Dance Umbrella 2017 will open at Battersea Power Station with Origami, a spectacular open air show pairing a huge shipping container and one very brave dancer…
Satchie Noro and Silvain Ohl, Origami, photo Karine de Barbarin c/o DU17
Origami is the work of Paris-based duo Satchie Noro and Silvain Ohl, who conceived perhaps one of the most original duets ever created, as container and dancer Satchie Noro interact, the metal half of the partnership gradually becoming a dynamic open performance space.
And not content with colonising Battersea Power Station, Origami will subsequently take over other unlikely spaces, such as Peninsula Square in Greenwich and the Queen’s Gardens in Croydon.
Closer to traditional dance is Trois Grandes Fugues, brought to Sadler’s Wells by the Lyon Opera Ballet. Beethoven’s Grande Fugue op. 133 provides the stunning canvas onto which each of three renowned choreographers projects her own interpretation.
American Lucinda Childs is known for her meticulous classicism; Belgium’s Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker has a muscular, uncompromising vocabulary, which she’ll bring to bear on the piece; and French dancer and choreographer Maguy Marin reads the score as an exhilarating race of life against death.
Lyon Opera Ballet, Trois Grandes Fugues, choreography Maguy Marin photo Bernard Stoflete c/o DU17
Also more within what we understand by dance, but still pushing boundaries in an effort to find contemporary echoes in Spain’s traditional flamenco is Rocio Molina, who will perform her one-woman piece Fallen from Heaven (Caída del Cielo) at the Barbican.
Molina is a veteran of Sadler’s Wells’ hugely successful annual Flamenco Festival and no stranger to Dance Umbrella, in which she has participated before. Fallen From Heaven, a true roller-coaster of a performance which fizzes with energy and ideas, recently won the 2017 Awards for Best Female Dancer, Choreography and Lighting Design at the Spanish Max Awards for the Performing Arts.
From Spain, too, come Cia Maduixa, whose work DOT, inspired by the American visual artist Sol Lewitt, targets younger audiences.
Cia Maduixa DOT photo Jordi Pla c/o DU17
Shoreditch Town Hall will host an evening of music, poetry, film and dance. Among its participants we would highlight the name of Julie Cunningham, an extraordinary contemporary dancer, who over the past few years has been trying her hand at choreography with fascinating results. We saw her hugely ambitious double bill of Returning and To Be Me at the Barbican in March – a show full of promise that left us craving more.
Another joint “festival within the festival” will be Out of the System, an multinational programme curated by London-born dancer and choreographer Freddie Opoku-Addaie. This will gather two live bands – Afrobeat and Yaaba Funk – and companies, which between them span Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, under one banner.
The accent is on collaboration and cross-fertilisation, with dance forms bleeding into one another, with the aim of generating a mix of local and global experiences.
With the audience invited to roam freely through the performance stages, each person building his or her own individual take and experiences, this has the feel of a house party you do not want to miss….
‘Immersive art’ is very much de rigueur these days, and that’s also the keynote of the show brought to us by Dance Umbrella veteran Charlotte Spencer Projects in Silvertown Quays, a disused piece of land in East London.
Entitled Is This A Wasteland? it asks us to reconsider our relationship with each other and the world around us. This, too, aims to push the boundaries of dance, bringing it into more experimental and engaged territory. The work calls on the combined areas of expertise of the artists that make up Charlotte Spencer Projects, including choreography, dance, music, visual arts, and the environment.
Two London premieres come from South Korea and France, respectively Eun-Me Ahn's Let Me Change Your Name at The Place; and French-Algerian Rachid Ouramdane’s Tordre, which reaches the artsdepot after a successful world tour.
Tordre, choreography Rachid Ouramdane photo Patrick Imbert c/o DU17
Dance Umbrella 2017 includes a full programme of complementary events, such as a photography exhibition, a series of three connected documentary films, lectures, and a number of creative workshops for children and their grown-ups.
So, it’s sure to have something for everyone – get booking!
Click here for full programme details.