Freddie Opoku-Addaie wants you to see Dance Umbrella


IF YOU want to mix it up a bit during Black History Month this year, Artistic Director and CEO Freddie Opoku-Addaie would love you to consider visiting Dance Umbrella, London’s annual international dance festival.

New two-part program of live and digital works reflects current festival aspirations

Artistic Director and CEO, Freddie Opoku-Addaie

Last month it was revealed that the festival will return in October with a number of live and in-person performances for the first time since 2019, as well as a collection of digital events aimed at sparking conversations, inspiring the creativity and celebrating choreographic talent.

During her first year as Artistic Director and CEO, Opoku-Addaie, who started in March of this year, said, “This is a year of transition for Dance Umbrella.

“As an independent creative practitioner and in my new role as Artistic Director / CEO, I know and see the inequalities that have been exacerbated over the past 18 months.

“In collaboration with its partners, DU has an essential role to play in continuing to expand the offer of diverse works and to defend artists to find new ways of working in collaboration.

“The new two-part program of live and digital works reflects the festival’s current aspirations, but also points to a new direction and perspective, with the debut of Dance Umbrella from all independent artists.

Jade Hackett, London Battle, (photo credit Nadia Otshudi)

“DU welcomes audiences from all over London and beyond to experience many different dance forms and share the excitement of our global city.”

The live program includes performances by extraordinary visual artist and theater maker Dimitris Papaioannou, and the debut of the Dance Umbrella Festival by Japanese artist Takeshi Matsumoto with a new sensory show for under-5s.

Dance Umbrella continues to expand the reach of its work in the outskirts of London as it travels to Bell Square in Hounslow to present an exhilarating outdoor work created by performer Ahilan Ratnamohan and a brand new piece from the Assemble project. of Dance Umbrella with West Thames College. by Becky Namgauds and tyroneisaacstuart.

Live work continues with a takeover of the Watermans Arts Center in Brentford with two action-packed days of live performances, including a double-poster by Dani Harris-Walters and Kesha Raithatha, an international short film program by dance hosted by Omari ‘Motion’ Carter and join host Jennifer Irons for a live dance on the origin of contemporary dance, where it is now and how we got here in DanceStory.

Dance Umbrella’s online program will bring audiences closer to choreographers and the way they create in Choreographer’s Cut, celebrate pioneers in their fields in intimate conversations between established artists and those they inspired to dance, as well as give exclusive access to the public to an organized film program and streaming performances, stimulating articles and thematic round tables and workshops.

2021 is a year of transition for Dance Umbrella as it emerges from the pandemic and its leadership shifts between Emma Gladstone OBE and Opoku-Addaie ahead of its inaugural 2022 festival.


Takeshi Matsumoto
Origami Club
Presented by Little Big Dance
Co-commissioned by Dance Umbrella
Tour locations – Stanley Arts (8th), Albany (October 9th), The Place (10th), Waterman’s Arts Center (October 17th),
Arts deposit (October 24)
Recommended age: five years and under
Duration 40 min + 10 min stay & game
Free craft activities in front of the house

Dance umbrella @BellSquareLDN
Place de la Cloche Saturday 9 October

Dimitris Papaioannou – Transversal orientation
Co-commissioned by Dance Umbrella and Sadler’s Wells
October 21 – 23, 7:30 p.m., Sadler’s Wells

Watermans Takeover Dance Umbrella
October 16 and 17
saturday 16 october
Double ticket, 7:30 p.m.

Happy fathers day
Dani Harris-Walters
Presented by Dance Umbrella, supported by Artists4Artists

Kesha Raithatha
Presented by Dance Umbrella, supported by Akademi Dance
Co-produced by Curve Theater Leicester. Initial commission by Akademi and Esmée Fairbairn

More info here:


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