Dance Umbrella announces Abby Zbikowski's Radioactive Practice as the first show for 2024 festival

Dance Umbrella announces Abby Zbikowski’s Radioactive Practice as the first show for 2024 festival

In 2018 Abby Zbikowski was nominated by Stephen Petronio as a ‘Choreographer of the Future’ for Dance Umbrella’s Four by Four commission initiative, which marked the festival’s 40th anniversary. The resulting work, Radioactive Practice, was originally due to be performed at Dance Umbrella in 2020. Following delays caused by the global pandemic, a specially filmed version of Abby Zbikowski‘s Radioactive Practice was premiered at Dance Umbrella Festival 2022.  It now has its European premiere at Sadler’s Wells as part of Dance Umbrella Festival 2024.

Dance Umbrella Artistic Director and Chief Executive Freddie Opoku-Addaie said: ‘Astonishing individual physicality meets collective perseverance in this remarkable show. Radioactive Practice by Abby Z and the New Utility is a cheerleader for our bodies’ disparate histories and a masterclass in showcasing the plurality of movement languages that exist in contemporary dance composition – it makes visceral the common ground in our existences. I cannot wait for London’s global audiences to see this work in our most bespoke and intimate setting at Sadler’s Wells to date.’ 

Hurtling onto the stage with explosive physicality, six performers challenge their physical and mental limits in a genre-bending new work named one of New York Times’ ‘Best Dance Performances of 2022.’

Drawing influences from street dance, synchronised swimming, post-modern dance, tap, football, martial arts and contemporary African forms; Radioactive Practice from award-winning American choreographer Abby Zbikowski and crew, shatters movement expectations and explores our instincts for survival.

With audiences seated on multiple sides, this powerful piece incorporates the work of Senegalese dance artist Momar Ndiaye as dramaturg to interrogate the complexities of contemporary living.    

Abby Zbikowski and her company Abby Z and the New Utility create contemporary dance works that pay homage to the effort of living. Zbikowski’s rigorous training in African and Afro-diasporic forms, playing sports and performing manual labour informs her craft. 

Radioactive Practice is presented by Dance Umbrella and Sadler’s Wells.

The full DU2024 programme announcement will be in June. For all the latest Dance Umbrella news and updates, visit   

Abby Z and the New Utility, Radioactive Practice. Photo by Maria Baranova