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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  General articles and comments

French dance? Yes pliés
British audiences are about to enjoy a little of what the French fancy at Dance Umbrella 2005. Merveilleux, says Donald Hutera for The Times

Brazilians go bananas doing samba. The Spanish fire up over flamenco. The Irish can lay claim to Riverdance and its countless clones. But what have the French ever done for dance?

Answers can be found in France Moves, a collection of French contemporary dance designed to delight, excite and unsettle audiences at Dance Umbrella in London. Now in its 27th year, Umbrella is the UK’s biggest annual dance festival.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Oct 10, 2005 7:17 am ]
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Dance Umbrella is well under way and there are plenty of goodies to come. The Festival website is well worth a look for details of performances and booking details:

If you want to read more about the artists, visit the online versions of the Dance Umbrella Newsletters:

Dance Umbrella Newsletter Spring 2005

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:26 am ]
Post subject: 

Press release

Over 39,000 people attend Dance Umbrella again!

For the second year in succession, in excess of 39,000 people attended Dance Umbrella, the UK’s leading annual festival of contemporary dance. Dance Umbrella 2005 (20 Sept – 8 Nov) was held across 8 London venues over 8 weeks, and, featuring 25 companies, this year’s festival was the largest in Dance Umbrella’s 27 year history.

In addition, Dance Umbrella 2005 featured a partnership with AFAA (Association française d’action artistique), the French Embassy and the French Institute in the United Kingdom for the first time to present Dance Umbrella 2005 - France Moves, a ‘festival within the festival’. This partnership enabled Dance Umbrella to present 11 companies representing the broad range of French contemporary dance. During the festival, Dance Umbrella also introduced Brief Encounters, an initiative to provide a platform for talented and new choreographers and short works by established artists prior to main stage shows.

For the fourth successive year and as part of Dance Umbrella 2005, Dance Umbrella presented the Jerwood Proms, a unique Stand Up For Dance initiative that gives audiences the opportunity to enjoy the world’s best contemporary dance companies, at Sadler’s Wells, for just a £5 per standing place.

Dance Umbrella 2006

Dance Umbrella 2006 opens in September at the redeveloped Roundhouse with the UK mainland premiere of Merce Cunningham’s spectacular OCEAN. OCEAN will be performed in the round by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, with the dancers surrounded by the audience, and the audience surrounded by an orchestra of 150 musicians.


Dance Umbrella was founded in 1978 with the aim of reflecting and encouraging the burgeoning interest in contemporary dance in Britain. From modest beginnings as a showcase for emerging choreographers, Dance Umbrella’s annual London festival now ranks highly among Europe’s leading international dance festivals and the organisation is recognised as one of Britain’s most adventurous dance promoters presenting a year round programme of work in London and across the UK.

Dance Umbrella has been responsible for introducing into this country some of the greatest international contemporary dance companies as well as nurturing, promoting and sponsoring some of the best of British modern dance. This was acknowledged and rewarded in June 2004 when Artistic Directior Val Bourne received a CBE.

Dance Umbrella celebrates and champions contemporary dance and is dedicated to the development of choreography, choreographers and dancers. It has been doing this successfully since 1978.

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