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 Post subject: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 2:14 am 
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<img src="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/pages/gala/title.jpg" alt="" />

BIRTHDAY GALA

Sadler's Wells
28th September 7pm

Dance Umbrella is celebrating 25 years of successfully presenting and promoting adventurous contemporary dance. This year's festival opens with a fundraising Birthday Gala in aid of the Dance Umbrella commissioning programme which features many artists who have appeared or been associated with Dance Umbrella throughout its 25 year history.

For the latest information about the programme, click HERE.

To Book

Tickets are £12.50, £20, £30, £37.50, Birthday Gala evening tickets are £100.
Call the Sadler’s Wells ticket office on 020 7863 8000 or book online at www.sadlerswells.com

The £100 Birthday Gala evening tickets are only available through Dance Umbrella and include a pre-performance reception at 6pm, best first circle seat, interval drink and exclusive post-performance party with the artists. The ticket also covers a year's subscription to the Friends of Dance Umbrella (annual subscription £20).

Download your Gala booking form HERE or call 020 8741 4040 for more information.


Does Dance Umbrella matter? We think so and this Gala is an important way of helping the Festival team finance high quality performances this year and in the future.

Here's what some artists say about Dance Umbrella:

"19 years ago a crazy woman named Val Bourne took a chance and brought me to London. Since then, I've seen Val spread her Umbrella over many artists, all of whom love her and know she loves them. Every performance I've given in England has been with her and because of her Its' impossible for me to imagine an England without Val Bourne and without her beautiful organisation. Hail Dance Umbrella!"
Mark Morris (2003)

"Val Bourne's name is synonymous with dance. She has discovered, mentored, presented, and celebrated dozens of us, maybe hundreds, from our early work up through the ranks to a level of competency that one could say, "we know what we are doing". London has been lucky! So has contemporary dance world wide"
Trisha Brown (2003)

Under Val Bourne's artistic direction, 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. The commissioning programme is a vital part of that success and this year is supporting Michael Clarke, Charles Linehan Company, Russell Maliphant Company and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

"I wouldn't be where I am today without Dance Umbrella"
Michael Clark (2003)

"I am delighted to bring my company to London again in Dance Umbrella, and send my congratulations to Val Bourne, who has been so supportive of our work over the years. I think it's marvellous that companies from both the United States and Europe will perform in this Dance Umbrella season - the Americans and the English fought in 1776 and now we've joined. If we were all in London at the same time we could dance a fandango"
Merce Cunningham (2003)

"To be supported by Dance Umbrella is to be supported by the highest profile dance festival in England. This support is both professional and personal - Val understands artists and the precarious nature of their lives. She understands how I work. She and Betsy have shown me support right from the beginning - years ago when I first arrived back in England and I didn't know anyone. Betsy gave me my first opportunity to perform in a festival and that support has continued since"
Charles Linehan (2003)

"I went to my first Dance Umbrella event over 20 years ago and since then the seasons have been a highlight of the year, presenting an opportunity to catch up with what's hot on the dance scene in Europe and beyond"
Russell Maliphant (2003)

"There has always been a great generosity about Val Bourne and the Dance Umbrella Festival. Artists have always felt cared for at whatever stage of their development and been energised by the commitment and attention that the festival has given. To keep that at heart is a truly remarkable achievement and we should celebrate it"
Siobhan Davies (2003)

<small>[ 23 September 2003, 08:18 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 3:21 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Personally, I can't wait to see this Gala and I do appreciate the fact that there are standard Sadler's Wells prices, so that a lot of Dance Umbrella fans can come rather than just the Corporatzzi.


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:10 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Update on the Dance Umbrella 25th Anniversary Gala - 28th September

I've just rung Sadler's Wells and the only seats left are:

Rear Stalls at £30, 1st Circle at £37.50, 2nd Circle at £20 (call the Ticket Office on 020 7863 8000; Monday to Saturday, 10am - 6.30pm.)

Alternatively if you want to support Dance Umbrella in style, buy a £100 ticket which includes interval drinks, a party with the artists afterwards and membership of the newly formed Friends of Dance Umbrella for 1 year (call Dance Umbrella on 020 8741 4040 for more information).

So if you plan to go, the message is move quickly or you may have to wait another 25 years for the next one!

<small>[ 23 September 2003, 08:17 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 7:14 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Latest news on ticket availability for the Gala:

stalls £30

restricted view stalls, first circle, second circle £20

front row stalls, restricted £12.50

Here's the latest news about the Gala programme:

· Compered by Deborah Bull

· Mark Morris will perform his solo "Serenade"

· Shobana Jeyasingh 1 an extract of "Polar Sequence"

· The World Premiere of Willam Tucket's "What's New Pussycat?"

· Wayne McGregor will perform his solo Xenathra, specially created for the Birthday Gala

· "If You Couldn't See Me" choreographed and performed by Trisha Brown

· Bill T Jones will perform his solo "Ionization" (1997), music by Edgar Varese, costumes by Liz Prince

· Scottish Ballet "Dangerous Liaisons" by Richard Alston

· Charles Moulton "Nine Person Precision Ball Passing"

· Agnes Oakes and Thomas Edur in the duet "2 Human" by Wayne McGregor

· Siobhan Davies' "She Bit Her Tongue" an extract from the Dance Umbrella commission Plants and Ghosts set to a text by Caryl Churchill

· Siobhan Davies' "The Swan" a solo made in 1982 for Second Stride featured in Dance Umbrella 1995 now performed by Laurent Cavanna

· A special revival of Matthew Bourne's "Spitfire" which featured in Dance Umbrella's 10th Anniversary Gala in 1988


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 3:32 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A "near as damn it" full Sadler's Wells whooped and shouted their praise for a fine celebration of Dance Umbrella's 25th Anniversary last night.

Full reports to come, but my personal favourites were:

"2 Human" (2003) by Wayne McGregor featuring Agnes Oakes and Thomas Edur - even more polished now that they have danced this in a number of venues around the UK and at overseas Galas.

"Ionization" (1997) choreographed and performed by Bill T Jones - Fiendishly complicated mix of any number of dance and music styles that worked.

"Nine Person Precision Ball Passing" (1980) by Charles Moulton, performed by students from the London Contemporary Dance School - Precise it was too, with nary a single ball dropped during the ever more complex passings. The mundane made into something wonderful. Great fun!

"She Bit Her Tongue" (from "Plants and Ghosts", 2002) by Siobhan Davies, performed by Tammy Arjona (dancer) and Deborah Saxon (dancer, signer) - a short story is compiled from the middle outwards by repetitions with more added at each of the 15 or so run-throughs with dance accompaniment matching the phrases. Witty and telling.

"Spitfire" (1988 Dance Umbrella 10th Anniversary) by Matthew Bourne, performed by Adam Cooper and other members of New Adventures - Bourne has made many funny pieces, but none as delicious as this skit on 50's underwear ads and Soviet ballet. A great way to close and bring the house down.

Can't wait for the 50th Anniversary!

Anyone else got any thoughts on the Gala?

<small>[ 29 September 2003, 06:03 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 5:26 am 
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what an absolutely fantastic programme! Very much looking forward to the reviews. I am very sorry to have missed Spitfire which I saw at the Linbury many moons ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 12:58 am 
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Location: London, England
Dance Umbrella Birthday Gala
28 September 2003, Sadler’s Wells

In 1978 the first Dance Umbrella festival played to around 5000 people. 25 years later, audiences top 40,000 and the festival is possibly the biggest date in the dance calendar.

A quarter of a century on, many of the faces in the festival remain the same. Behind the scenes, artistic director Val Bourne still holds the reins, and when Richard Alston comes on stage to open the second half he reminds us that he danced in the very first performance of the first festival.

It’s a piece of Alston’s work that opens the show tonight. ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, danced by the Scottish Ballet, is a reliably lyrical slice of choreography with an unusually abstract soundtrack. All the Alston trademarks are there (some things just don’t go out of style) and the female dancers are especially beautiful, with Diana Loosmore – a former member of Alston’s company – leading the way.

The evening is a real celebration, a combination of specially commissioned solos and previous festival highlights, showcasing some of the choreographers who have made their debuts at DU and gone on to become major players in the contemporary dance scene.

We are treated to solos from three mighty dance makers, once edgy new artists, now edgy older artists – Trisha Brown, Bill T Jones and Mark Morris. Jones and Morris in particular have real presence and the kind of command that only comes with experience. (Brown is slightly hindered by the fact that she performs ‘If You Couldn’t See Me’ – a ten minute solo with her back to the audience.)

Jones is in great shape, with muscles fit for a strip show (he keeps his clothes on though). He doesn’t need to move from his spot, just makes pointed exclamations with his splendid isolations. ‘Ionization’ (set to Varese’s work of the same name) is a meditation in the spotlight, the dancer shifting his electrons with precision and attitude. He manages to be both abstract and soulful at the same time.

Mark Morris has an equally solid torso but you’d be hard pressed to find a six pack. The man is a complete contradiction. Remarkably rounded but incredibly light on his feet, he turns up in a skirt and what looks to me like a Japanese costume but then begins a kind of stylised flamenco, accompanied by live guitar and percussion. He goes from statuesque to sprightly in a second, from serious to tongue-in-cheek in a blink.

Morris is simply a natural dancer. He moves with such ease and imagination that you can tell it’s just part of him. You could watch him doing the housework and it would probably be just as enchanting.

It’s always interesting to see choreographers dance their own work, to see where their language comes from. After all, this was the first body they ever choreographed for, their raw material.

There are three works tonight that bear the stamp of Wayne McGregor. One choreographed by him, another danced by his company Random Dance and the third a solo (created for tonight’s gala) which he dances himself. As soon as his gangly figure walks onstage, McGregor’s distinctive dance language immediately makes sense. Tall and skinny with a shaved head, he’s all limbs and slightly alien-looking. Fitting and fretting about the stage, he’s like a miswired, mechanical stick insect. Although other dancers recreate his steps effectively, this is clearly the master copy.

It’s a style that Shobana Jayasingh, normally known for her Indian/contemporary fusion, has used to great effect in her work for Random Dance. The company has just finished a run at The Place, and performs ‘Polar Sequence 1’ tonight. Jayasingh has worked closely with the dancers to create something in Random’s jerky, kinetic style. It’s a surprise to anyone expecting her usual idiom, but a pleasant one.

The other work by McGregor is his piece for English National Ballet’s star couple Thomas Edur and Agnes Oaks. ‘2 Human’ is a kind of extreme pas de deux, highly charged and full of flashy technique, tricky lifts and edgy moves.

All eyes are on Oaks, dressed like and exotic bird going through its punk phase, she’s almost another species. Flighty, feisty and very strong – there’s nothing soft about this ballerina. I saw this piece when the ENB were on tour an the dancers seemed more relaxed this time, no doubt enjoying the occasion, and their rapturous reception.

Just to make sure that everyone enjoys the party, there’s plenty of humour on stage. Nine girls passing balls to each other in time with the music, a drunken pussycat on pointe and some seriously macho men in their underpants courtesy of Matthew Bourne.

The gala is a great opener for the 25th festival; everything’s a highlight. You have to wonder which bright young sparks from this year’s festival will be dancing here in another 25 years time. Or will Mark Morris still be skipping around the stage in a skirt? Let’s hope so.


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 1:07 am 
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Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Times.

Quote:
IT WAS a great night. The performance wasn’t too long; there wasn’t too much speechifying; the line-up was a knockout and the dance was sensational. As a celebration of 25 years of Dance Umbrella, this birthday gala couldn’t have been bettered.
MORE

And from The Guardian.

Quote:
The 25th birthday gala that Dance Umbrella organised was a longish evening - and it would probably have lasted all night if everyone who had wanted to celebrate the event had been allowed on stage. With luminaries such as Mark Morris, Bill T Jones and Trisha Brown crossing the Atlantic to join the British line-up, it was simultaneously one of the splashiest and most affectionate dance events held on the London stage.
MORE

<small>[ 30 September 2003, 03:13 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:43 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
One Big Umbrella
Dance Umbrella Turns Silver, with a Little Help from its Friends
By Josephine Leask for Dance Insider


LONDON -- Dance Umbrella celebrated its 25th anniversary Sunday with a glamorous gala at Sadler's Wells, one of London's oldest dance venues. Started by the heroic yet humble Val Bourne, who is remarkably still its artistic director, this autumn contemporary dance festival has grown and flourished in both companies and audiences. Dance Umbrella boasts the work of (now) prestigious national and international companies who have been nurtured over the years by Bourne herself, who treats her artists like cherished family.

click for more


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 7:13 am 
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What a swell party it was
Ismene Brown for The Daily Telegraph reviews the Dance Umbrella Birthday Gala at Sadler's Wells


An uplifting and delightful gala to celebrate the 25th birthday of the great modern dance festival, Dance Umbrella, fielded such an enormous array of acts as to confound all those who think modern dance is grey and gloomy.

Bravura ball-juggling, punk ballet, men posing in underpants, mime, folk-dancing, Indian technique, Cunningham school, ensemble cool, solos of blazing personality - Sadler's Wells had it all. Dance Umbrella founder Val Bourne's choices are simply the things she loves to watch, not things she thinks ought to be there.

click for more


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:58 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Too much rain on Umbrella's parade
By Zoe Anderson for The Independent

Dance Umbrella is now 25 years old. It's an extraordinary showcase for contemporary dance, covering celebrated artists and those just starting out, national and international, some dazzling and some duds.

The Sadler's Wells Birthday Gala had all of the above, but took a while to find its fizz. At first it seemed a timid tribute for so hair-raising a festival. An extract from Shobana Jeyasingh's Polar Sequence, 1 is an arbitrary selection from Random Dance's recent repertoire, a dull piece danced well. Richard Alston's Dangerous Liaisons is much more substantial, but it's very new to Scottish Ballet. They gave a decent performance, but are not ready to take risks with it.

click for more

<small>[ 02 October 2003, 01:59 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 11:33 pm 
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Location: London
Umbrella's birthday party was a joyous celebration of movement and music

Jann Parry
Sunday October 5, 2003
The Observer

Dance Umbrella gala Sadler's Wells, London EC1
Michael Clark Sadler's Wells, London EC1
Scottish Ballet Edinburgh Playhouse

Quote:
Val Bourne's prescription for a Dance Umbrella gala is that it must be fun. Newcomers to postmodern dance should have their eyes opened to the range of what is possible.
more...


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:09 am 
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Review from The Independent.

Quote:
Twenty-five years ago, a little festival calling itself Dance Umbrella crept into being. Its opening night - a modest mixed bill at London's Riverside Studios - presented a handful of practitioners in strange new territory. They called it contemporary dance, but no one knew quite what to make of it, and during one item in which a man edged very slowly round the floor on his bottom, some of the audience started to heckle. Then another faction argued back.
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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Gala - 28th September
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:33 pm 
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Dance Umbrella Birthday Gala
Sadler’s Wells Theatre
28/09/03

On Sunday the 2003 Dance Umbrella season opened with a big gala to celebrate the Festival’s 25th birthday and what a fabulous night of dance it was with veterans and newcomers from the UK and the US offering their tributes.

Trisha Brown, one of three guests from the US, effortlessly filled the stage with her
tranquil solo ‘If You Couldn’t See Me’ without really facing the audience even once.

Billy T. Jones on the other hand lingered in one corner of the stage for ‘Ionaziation’,
a solo choreographed to Edgar Varese’s piece of the same title. In just 3 minutes
Jones seemingly isolates every single muscle in his body. I doubt even a single cell
would dare to disobey his command to move independently.

Last but by no means least on the list of veteran US performers we saw Mark Morris,
who had brought his own musicians who played Lou Harrison’s ‘Serenade’ for Guitar
live with him on stage. Dressed in a white top and a black skirt, a Japanese looking
outfit Morris flowed through a serious of dances using a variety of props, like a black
fan and castanets. Although his waistline is not as trim as it once was his lightness
and fluidity of movement is simply spellbinding.

Scottish Ballet shone in Richard Alston’s ‘Dangerous Liaisons’. During the second half of the evening, Alston, who danced in the very first performance of the very first Dance Umbrella 25 years ago, paid tribute to the festival’s founder and Artistic Director Val Bourne who in turn modestly praised her many collaborators behind the scenes over all
those years.

ENB’s Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur performed Wayne McGregor’s ‘2 Human’.
Oakes, although in pointe shoes, could not be further from the cliché of a airy and
serene ballerina. Dressed in a punklike outfit she recklessly threw herself into the
choreography, pushing her body to its limits and clearly loving every minute of it.

McGregor later on cut a lonely melancholic figure in his solo ‘Xenathra’, especially
created for this Birthday Gala.

Two works by Siobhan Davis were also on offer. ‘The Swan’ created to Saint-Saen’s
famous music and the witty ‘She Bit Her Tongue’. The spoken text tells a story from
the inside outwards with more and more details added with every run through.
Performed by Tammy Arjona and Deborah Saxon, who repeatedly signed the spoken
text the overall effect was stunning and left me breathless by the end of it.

The evening also had room for fun and humour. Students from the London Contemporary
Dance School impressed with the perfect execution of the complex patterns of Charles Moulton’s ‘Nine Person Precision Ball Passing’. Royal Ballet Principal Zenaida Yanowsky was hilarious as drunk pussy cat in net stockings in the world premiere of
a solo created by William Tuckett

Mathew Bourne’s ‘Spitfire’ proved to be the perfect closure to the evening. The sight
of the 6 males dressed in white underpants, Adam Cooper among them, going all
macho to the sounds of the famous music of the Don Q Pas de Deux was in a word
priceless and I was not the only one leaving the theatre with a big smile on my face.


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