PREVIEW: Create. Debate. Celebrate, Dance Umbrella

Dance Umbrella’s digital festival is set to run from the 23rd to the 27th November.

Eun -Me Ahn Danncing Grandmothers (c)Young Mo Chloe

This new digital festival will include discussions, workshops, documentaries, performances and dance parties with names like Akram Khan, Annie B Parsons and Gregory Maqoma. 

The programme is set to include:

Choreographer’s Cut
Ever wondered how a performance evolves? Step inside the mind of a choreographer as leading artists give an in-depth commentary on a recent work.  This is a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes with Oona Doherty (Northern Ireland): Helium from Hard to be Soft and Eun-Me Ahn (S. Korea): Dancing Grandmothers; as they discuss their creative process with Dance Umbrella’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive Emma Gladstone.    

Continental Breakfast   

Join creatives from across the globe as they settle down to breakfast with a special guest of their choice. These intimate conversations bring together artists from different sides of the world to discuss culture in the current climate and share how recent events are shaping their creative processes.  The programme features Abby Zbikowski (USA) in conversation with Bebe MillerGregory Maqoma (South Africa) in conversation with Alfred Enoch; Akram Khan (UK) in conversation with TBC; Arundhathi Subramaniam (India) in conversation with Alarmél Valli and Lucy Guerin (Australia) in conversation with Amrita Hepi.

Home Made

For people who enjoy dancing and creating their own moves around the kitchen, living room or bedroom, Home Made is Dance Umbrella’s first ever digital dance residency available to a range of ages. Over five days, each Home Made group will work with a world-class choreographer to explore, play and create their own brand-new choreography.  

The Home Made groups will include: Families (6yrs+) working with choreographer Satchie Noro; Adults (18yrs+) working with choreographer Annie-B Parson; Adults (60yrs+) working with choreographer Kenrick Sandy. 

Participants will be able to join in from the comfort of their own homes via secure Zoom meetings (set up support available) and take the opportunity to be part of a final film showcasing the project that will be created throughout each residency.  It’s free to take part and no previous dance experience is necessary.  See listings for how to apply.

Music to Get You By  

We’ve asked everyone involved in Dance Umbrella Digital to share the tracks that have got them through 2020. We hope these selections spark creativity, lift spirits and prepare us for whatever comes next. 

Studio Sessions  

Studio Sessions returns for 2020 as twelve UK and Ireland based artists / companies share a live stream presentation of a work in progress. Connecting national and international industry professionals with creatives, these three informal presentations enable presenters, funders and supporters to see work well before it hits the stage. Studios Sessions are curated for Dublin Dance Festival by Oona Doherty; for Dance4 (curator to be confirmed); and for Dance Umbrella / ResCen Research Centre at Middlesex University by Seeta Patel. Participating artists to be announced.

SystemsLab Debate: Shifting Ground – Reset / Reconnect / Reinvigorate 

Shifting Ground follows last year’s insightful discussion Tick Box/ Break Glass/ Look Pretty, which explored the experiences and opportunities for women of colour in the arts.This discussion investigates how the events of 2020 have impacted on their lives as they explore shifts in perspectives, identities, values and priorities, reflecting on what their relationship to the arts looks like today. As we seek pathways that lead to solutions, we also share what challenges have been faced and the tools cultivated that enable us to be adaptable, resilient and learn to trust in ourselves.

Shifting Ground is facilitated by Dawn Estefan (psychotherapist, writer, trainer & speaker) and features panellists: Julia Cheng (Dancer, choreographer & Creative Director House of Absolute); Tracy Gentles (Director, Something To Aim For) and Nike Jonah (Creative Producer) and is curated by Anthea Lewis/ Blulilli Projects presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with SystemsLAB. 

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