Dance Umbrella’s mission is to celebrate 21st century choreography. We do so collaboratively through an annual, international London festival, through year-round creative learning opportunities, and by developing choreographic talent.
In 2018, four early career choreographers were chosen by four established artists as part of a new commissioning project, Four by Four, to celebrate Dance Umbrella’s 40th anniversary. Four by Four is a transformational intervention for these young artists as they emerge as dance makers and create a piece of repertoire which, after premiering in London, is then available for touring worldwide.
The first two artists will offer premieres in Dance Umbrella’s 2019 festival, and the other two will be part of the 2020 festival.
The 2019 choreographers are…
MYTHILI PRAKASH (USA) – nominated by Akram Khan
GEORGIA VARDAROU (Greece) – nominated by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker
The 2020 choreographers are…
JON MAYA SEIN (Spain) – nominated by Rocío Molina
ABBY ZBIKOWSKI (USA) – nominated by Stephen Petronio
MYTHILI PRAKASH: Here and Now
Here and Now will update traditional Indian dance by bringing a piece deeply rooted in the classical and mythological into the present day. This solo will feature live percussive and vocal accompaniment, with lighting design by Guy Hoare.
"This commission from Dance Umbrella has come at a very pivotal time in my artistic journey. I have trained for the past three decades, very rigorously, in this form of Indian classical Bharata Natyam. As a choreographer the questions that continues to challenge and excite me is how do I make the human experience the central focus of my explorations and have the magnificent, nuanced, intricate language of my form be almost incidental."
Born and raised Los Angeles, USA
Currently living Los Angeles, USA
Introduced to dance Age 3
First choreographic commission Dance Umbrella 2019
Has worked with Akram Khan, Anoushka Shankar, and brother/musician Aditya Prakash
Screen appearances Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (Pi’s wife) and on NBC’s Superstars of Dance Now and Then will premiere at Fairfield Halls, London, 18 & 19 Oct 2019
Now and Then will premiere at Fairfield Halls, London, 18 & 19 Oct 2019
GEORGIA VARDAROU: Why should it be more desirable...
“I enjoy thinking of this idea that often we cannot perceive something really simply as what it is. What it appears. We tend to assign meaning… All this, for me, is where dance happens.”
Hypnotic to watch and described by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker as a “beautifully different choreographer,” Vardarou will collaborate with visual artist David Brazell. In her solo, she will explore the very nature of how we watch dance and try to interpret its meaning.
Born and raised Athens
Currently living Barcelona
Introduced to dance Age 4
Has worked with Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker, Salva Sanchis, Marc Vanrunxt
Why should it be more desirable… will premiere at Sadler’s Wells, Lilian Baylis Studio, London, 23 & 24 Oct 2019
Since 1978 Dance Umbrella has been bringing outstanding contemporary dance to London, presenting more than 750 artists from 35 countries to audiences of over one million people. The first to present Mark Morris, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Michael Clark and many more in the UK, DU has commissioned over 80 new works and presented at over 80 different venues ranging from Smithfield Market to the British Library, from canal long boats to Alexandra Palace Ice Rink.
Dance Umbrella significantly invests in choreographers and new work by offering feedback and advice alongside practical and financial support. Since 2014, DU commissioned works have collectively delivered more than 230 international performances.
To change the art audiences experience and to diversify audiences for dance in the future, Four by Four disrupts the top-down approach to curation, introducing more creation and risk into our programme. It will give four artists, previously unknown to DU, a platform at one of the world’s leading dance festivals. Their fresh perspectives will help us continue to attract new and younger audiences for dance while providing bold work for established audiences.
Dance Umbrella will provide each Four by Four artist with £25,000 for creative and production support. We’re seeking at least £5,000 to underwrite the technical expenses - including production crew and equipment rental - which will be necessary to realise Georgia and Mythili’s premieres. We invite your support in bringing these artists to the stage, joining the commitment of our major donors in doing so. Be part of not only Dance Umbrella’s future -- invest in the future of dance.
Risks and challenges
-Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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