Dance Umbrella’s 2021 Festival 




Dance Umbrella, London’s annual international dance festival, has announced that it will return this October with a number of live, in-person performances for the first time since 2019, alongside a collection of digital events aimed at sparking conversations, inspiring creativity and celebrating choreographic talent. 

Dance Umbrella will take place from 8-24 October across the capital. It will aim to widen the offer of diverse work and championing artists to find new ways of working collaboratively. The new twin-track programme of live and digital work reflects the festival’s ongoing aspirations, but also indicates a new direction and some fresh perspective, with Dance Umbrella debuts from many independent artists. It will celebrate many different forms of dance as a hybrid event of live performances and digital explorations. 

The live programme includes performances from the visual artist and theatre-maker Dimitris Papaioannou, and a Dance Umbrella Festival debut from Japanese artist Takeshi Matsumoto with a new sensory show for under 5s. Dance Umbrella continues to expand the reach of its work in outer London Boroughs as it travels to Bell Square in Hounslow to present a live outdoor work created by performance-maker Ahilan Ratnamohan and a brand new piece from Dance Umbrella’s Assemble project with West Thames College by Becky Namgauds and tyroneisaacstuart.


Image Credit: Left to right: photo by Summer Deanphoto by Joshua Morris; photo by Sophie Bradbury; photo Vimel Budhev; photo by Camilla Greenwood; photo by Julian Mommert

 The live work continues with a takeover of Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford with two days of live performances including a double-bill from Dani Harris-Walters and Kesha Raithatha, an International Dance Short Film programme curated by Omari ‘Motion’ Carter, and audiences can join host Jennifer Irons for a live dancesploration of where contemporary dance came from, where it is now and how we got here in DanceStory. Dance Umbrella’s online programme will bring audiences closer to choreographers and how they create in Choreographer’s Cut, celebrate pioneers in their fields in intimate conversations between established artists and those they have inspired to dance, as well as give audiences exclusive access to a curated film programme and streamed performances, thought-provoking articles and topical panel discussions and workshops.