Dance Umbrella showcases anonymous choreographers to overturn expectation

Dance Umbrella's Inter_rupted by Aditi Mangaldas Company. Picture: Nirvair Singh

Dance Umbrella's Inter_rupted by Aditi Mangaldas Company. Picture: Nirvair Singh - Credit: Archant

The international Dance Umbrella festival returns to London with performances at Sadler’s Wells, Bernie Grant Centre and the Barbican.

The reputations of internationally acclaimed artists often precede them, sometimes at the detriment to the performance.

Hoping to overturn expectation, Sadler’s Wells is staging Unknown Pleasures as part of the international Dance Umbrella festival.

An anonymous programme, Unknown Pleasures offers the opportunity for dance makers to exhibit their work free from the constraints of preconception.

The evening will see the visions of four women and one man ranging in age from 30s up to 70s come to life, providing an evening of diverse and innovative dance.


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The performance is set to offer choreography liberated from identity and audience expectation, as performed by 20 dancers from reputed French company Centre Chorégraphique National – Ballet de Lorraine.

Speaking on the dance festival, artistic director Emma Gladstone says: “2016 will see Dance Umbrella mixing some truly extraordinary international choreographers with rich, home-grown talent.

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“With work from six different countries on show, I am particularly proud of the three made possible by our Commission Fund.”

The fund supports a broad range of choreographers and dancers from different backgrounds, allowing them to develop their art and exhibit their own perspectives.

Unknown Pleasures is one of three pieces facilitated by commission. Also funded is Jérôme Bel’s Gala. This performance draws together Londoners from all stages of life – young and old, those fit and those who are less so.

Breaking from expectation, the performance prompts its audience to re-evaluate the preconceptions we have about dance. Together, the dancers will produce a zealous piece which challenges expectation.

The final piece made possible by the commission is Indian choreographer Aditi Mangaldas’s Inter_rupted.

The performance sees the blending of contemporary dance with kathak, a form of classical dance derived from northern India. A pioneer in her field, this is Mangaldas’s first appearance at the Barbican.

She will be onstage as one of the seven dancers performing the piece which explores the depths of deterioration and restoration.

Collaborating with lighting expert Fabiana Piccoli, the work showcases Mangaldas’s distinct style of dance.

Dance Umbrella is redefining dance one performance at a time, with an impact that reaches far beyond the festival.

Unknown Pleasures runs October 7 to 8 at Sadler’s Wells. Tickets: £20. sadlerswells.com.

Jérôme Bel’s Gala runs at Bernie Grant Arts Centre on October 11 and Sadler’s Wells from October 18 to 19, with tickets priced between £12 and £27. berniegrantcentre.co.uk.

Inter_rupted is at the Barbican from October 20 to 22. Tickets cost between £16 and £28. barbican.org.uk

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