Dance Umbrella Announces New Co-CEO Model

Dance Umbrella Announces New Co-CEO Model

Dance Umbrella Festival has announced that it is moving to a new co-leadership model by appointing current Artistic Director and CEO Freddie Opoku-Addaie and Executive Director Tania Wilmer as joint Chief Executive Officers.

​This new model, in which Opoku-Addaie retains his Artistic Director responsibilities, will increase the capacity of the executive team to push forward several strategic areas of focus for the organisation. 

Now in its 46th year, Dance Umbrella’s annual festival has a reputation for platforming an exceptional range of diverse dance talent from across the world on stages in London, reflective of this global city. Amongst the organisation’s priorities are key interventions that support increased diversity of voices in the sector and building deeper relationships and networks with the dance ecology in the global south.

“Dance Umbrella has a track record of shifting leadership paradigms. I was initially invited by former Artistic Director and CEO Emma Gladstone as a guest programmer in 2017-19, creating Out of the System, a festival-within-a-festival which profiled exceptional artists from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. We are passionate about expanding access to diverse voices not just on stage, but in curatorial roles too” Freddie Opoku-Addaie, Artistic Director & Co-CEO. 

Since 2020 and the global pandemic, Dance Umbrella has become a hybrid festival with programmes delivered online as well as live. Over the next four years in the run up to the festival’s 50th anniversary, the organisation will continue to develop this strand of its work with continued commitment to showcasing a range of digital dance on its platforms.

Additionally, Dance Umbrella is working with a dynamic network of European dance festivals (Big Pulse Dance Alliance) on a breadth of vital interventions to support the dance ecology including: leveraging significant funding and touring opportunities that enable artists to upscale their ambitions; creating international travel and collaboration opportunities for artists; and developing trans-European decarbonisation initiatives aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of international touring and festivals.

“Freddie and I have clear ambitions for how Dance Umbrella can impact the local, national and international dance scene over the next five years. As cultural leaders with strong individual track records, we see real value in a co-leadership model which will give us the capacity to maximise our complementary strengths, accelerating the momentum and growth of the organisation.” Tania Wilmer, Co-Chief Executive Officer.

The programme for the Dance Umbrella Festival October 2024 will be announced in June. Visit for the latest news.

Freddie Opoku-Addaie by Miguel Altunaga Jr