Dance Umbrella, London’s leading international dance festival, kicks off on Friday 7th October at Sadler’s Wells. This year, our 38th, sees spartan duets by Olympic choreographers from Greece, 20 Londoners taking to the stage, Flying Dutch men and women, anonymous artists asking you to take a leap of faith, Kathak from India unlike anything you have seen before, Norwegian artists breaking the age barrier, and even a room full of music and lush green grass for you to kick off your shoes and catch your breath.
Children and young people are always included in the Festival and three of the shows on offer are perfect for families.
Arch 8 Dancers
Tetris / O Snap / No Man is an Island
© Anna van Kooij
Arch 8 choreographer Erik Kaiel’s work is unorthodox, acrobatic and perfect for children (and grown-ups) who can’t sit still.
Inspired by playground games and the casual way that kids fling themselves about, his dancers tumble and contort, exploring the limits of their bodies. It’s awesome.
Dance Umbrella is touring three shows from this Dutch company around London: Tetris, based on the eponymous computer game, in which four dancers work as a faultless unit, uniquely dependent on one another. O Snap focuses on the stumbling blocks of our teenage years where emotions and friends rule. And finally the popular No Man is an Island, enjoyed across four continents to date.
Stratford Circus Arts Centre E15 (Sat 8 Oct)
artsdepot N12 (Sun 9 Oct)
Watermans TW8 (Sun 16 Oct)
The Albany SE8 (Tue 18 Oct)
Unicorn Theatre SE1 (Sat 22 Oct)
(Check websites to see what is being performed where.)
O Snap 10+
No Man is an Island 6+
©Jelmer de Haas
An exhilarating rollercoaster of a show, Dream City is a dance party where seven musicians and dancers share the stage. Sometimes the performers are firmly in the present, bouncing off each other like human pin-balls, at other times they move in a world of their own.
The music propels the dancers on as they play games of daring and exuberant one-upmanship, creating organised chaos as they go. It’s not long before the stage fills with discarded costumes and bodies, like some mad dressing up party.
De Dansers, based in The Netherlands, are known for their full on, energetic family shows, and Dream City is no exception. Come along and enjoy the ride at the Unicorn Theatre.
Unicorn Theatre SE1 (22 Oct)
Laura Dannequin’s The Secret Slowness of Movement
©Jelmer de Haas
An invitation to slow down, slow dance, or just be.
Laura Dannequin's installation is a space for quiet contemplation, a dance floor for anonymous unwinding. Featuring an ever-changing light and soundscape, it is a genuinely sensory experience where a floor of fresh grass invites you to kick off your shoes, soften and melt for a while.
Suitable for anyone, whatever your age, just come and go as you please.
It’s FREE – just turn up
Fri 14 Oct 4 – 8pm
Sat 15 Oct 2 – 6pm
David Roberts Arts Gallery
Symes Mews, Camden High Street NW1