Dance Umbrella announces full digital programme for 2023 hybrid festival

Dance Umbrella announces full digital programme for 2023 hybrid festival

Following the announcement of live events for 2023, Dance Umbrella, London’s annual international dance festival has announced the full programme of digital explorations and the on sale of its digital pass. 

Available to a global and national audience from 6 – 31 October, the digital programme consists of a curated selection of dance films, panels and workshops from Graeme Miller, Jade Hackett, Abby Zbikowsi, along with many others.

London-based choreographer, performer and curator Jade Hackett explores her personal definition of home in a new film, Let’s Dance in the CityLondon created in partnership with Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage in collaboration with regional partners. 

Gazing out of the window onto the grey concrete jungle of her dwelling in the capital, Jade begins to long for her mother’s back garden. This is the first place that Jade and her friends began to create dance and movement together, a safe space in which they could truly express themselves.

Internationally renowned choreographer Trajal Harrell creates narratives that examine the lives of women beyond their sensational moments of infamy. O Medea begins where Euripides’ tragic Greek masterpiece ends and seeks to explore the wild grief that our lives can sometimes produce.

KINGDOM is a visionary art film, co-created and directed by musician and composer Vincenzo Lamagna and fine art photographer Danilo Moroni. This cinematic experience is the embodiment of Lamagna’s album of the same name, and lives at the intersection of images, dance, and music.

An exploration of the dualities inherent in human existence, KINGDOM confronts viewers with a dance of flesh and spirit. Deeply rooted in the creators’ profound ties with the contemporary dance and ballet world, KINGDOM unveils Lamagna and Moroni’s multidisciplinary vision, brought to life by some of Europe’s most exciting dance artists.

Join Greek dancer and choreographer Ioanna Paraskevopouloufor a unique audio-visual performance for the digital stage. In All She Likes is Popping Bubble Wrap, the screen is split in two, one side showing a montage of archival film footage (three girls fishing in a lake, a zombie chase scene, a woman in the bath); whilst the other shows a performer in dialogue with the images. Using various resources including her own body, to devise, create and produce a new soundtrack, Paraskevopoulou creatively brings these filmed images to life.

Stopgap Dance Company presents Dance Tapes. Dance Tapes is a series of choreographies that combines speech and sound, amplifying the voices of Disabled dance artists. Devised by the renowned Stopgap Dance Company, this project offers audiences an intimate and immersive experience, delving into the rich lived experiences of these remarkable artists.

One of these choreographies is Within My Own Bones, a sound work created by Zimbabwean choreographer and dance maker Shyne Phiri, who is now based in London. In this profound work, Shyne takes us into the heart of his home, where the tensions within his body harmonise with the immediate surroundings. With a heightened awareness of his sensations, Shyne’s words and movements gradually evolve into a stirring celebration of freedom. As he explores various manifestations of nature, he tunes into his body, seeking solace and a place to rest. Shyne’s work as a freelance choreographer epitomises his commitment to crafting choreography deeply rooted in everyday life. As a disabled dance artist, he continually pushes boundaries, constantly exploring new avenues of movement.

ReWorking Rhythms is a panel discussion presented in collaboration with Independent Dance and Team London Bridge. Chaired by Tarik Elmoutawakil, the panel will discuss access and inclusion when making, performing, or producing performance. Drawing on their own experiences as artists, the panellists will examine what is given time in the creative process and how those decisions affect or limit what is made, seen and valued. This discussion will take place in-person and online. Full details and booking information to be announced soon. 

Dive into some of the most exciting minds in contemporary choreography. Now in its fourth year, the 2023 edition of Choreographer’s Cut features Trajal Harrell. When Tanz Magazine selected Trajal Harrell to be their Dancer of the Year in 2018, the honour prompted the artist to create a solo reflecting on (self) worth, confronting what he means to dance, what dance means to him and the legacy he hopes to leave behind both as a choreographer and as a dancer. Harrell now selects his 2019 work Dancer of the Year to discuss exclusively for Dance Umbrella audiences.   

Finally, Artist Encounters is an online professional development workshop with a guest artist focusing on cultivating practical skills, sharing knowledge, and asking questions that resonate. For DU23, we will be joined by critically acclaimed international choreographer Abby Zbikowski (Abby Z), who will focus on how to create rehearsal spaces that reclaim the brutal rigor that goes into the practice of hyperphysical movement. Through the subversion of outdated hierarchies, Abby will demonstrate how practice can be used as a vehicle for individual and collective growth.

Dance Umbrella’s Digital Pass is Pay What You Can and will give audiences access to the entire digital programme within this year’s festival, available online to global and national audiences from 6 – 31 October 2023. The pass is available to purchase now via