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  • Posted 8 October 2019

    LIFT Picks for Dance Umbrella

    Missing the festival buzz? Can’t wait until June for LIFT 2020? LIFT’s favourite fall festival, Dance Umbrella, opens this week and runs the length of October. The line-up is a compelling mix of some of the biggest names in international dance, a chance to discover new favourites and some site and venue takeovers that change how we experience dance.

    Check out these top picks from LIFT Artistic Director/CEO Kris Nelson.

    Gisèle Vienne @ Sadlers Wells

    Gisèle Vienne’s staging redefines what epic is – her piece This is How You Will Disappear still happily haunts me – she plunged the audience into a forest in the theatre, complete with live trees, falcons, owls, eagles and oceans of fog. Her work is unworldly, eerie and masterful. She is one of the greats. In Crowd, she recreates the haze, buzz and euphoria of the club. Expect to leave Sadlers Wells levitating.

    Oona Doherty @ Southbank Centre and The Yard Theatre

    A singular, unforgettable presence and  fast becoming a major force in UK and international dance. By presenting two of her works, Dance Umbrella is going to put this Belfast artist firmly on London’s map. See her now, you’ll be very happy you were there at the start of a sensational career.

    Oona will stagger you in her fantastic solo, Hope Hunt; she’s ferocious, mercurial, real. I was lucky enough to present this piece in Dublin,  easily one of my favourite projects during my time there. Her large-scale piece Hard to Be Soft will transport you to her hometown and all its bravado and vulnerability. If ever there was a time to immerse yourself in Belfast’s solidarity, complexity and humour, it’s now.

    Geoffrey Maqoma & Vuyani Dance Theatre @ Barbican

    The South African choreographer is returning to Dance Umbrella for the third time, with a choir and 8 dancers at the Barbican. The festival has made him a London favourite – I can’t wait to see his work for the first time.

    Dance Umbrella @ Fairfield Hall

    What better way to check out South London’s newly refurbished arts hub Fairfield Hall with a day of dance animating the building and public square? Looking forward to discovering a mix of artists and exploring  London’s newest iconic space.

    "CION: Requiem of Ravel's Bolero"  choreographed by Gregory Maqoma in collaboration with the Market Theatre and inspired by Zakes Mda with choral score by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Xolisiwe Bongwana. Costumes by BlackCofee's Jacques van der Watt and performed by Vuyani Dance Company.
Photograph: John Hogg

    Go find your favourite at this year’s Dance Umbrella. Revel in the festival and connect with some of the most exciting international dance artists.

    Wishing you all a great festival.



    The festival takes place 8 – 27 October 2019. For more information please visit Dance Umbrella