Dance Umbrella’s Four by Four

Dance Umbrella, London’s flagship festival of international dance, will celebrate its 40th anniversary this autumn. To mark this milestone Dance Umbrella has launched Four by Four– a programme inspired by the festival’s four decades of artistic growth, a way of moving forwards by looking back. This initiative aims to support the choreographers of the future.

In Four by Four all three of Dance Umbrella’s Artistic Directors, Val Bourne CBE, Betsy Gregory and Emma Gladstone, have invited an established artist from their time at the helm to nominate a ‘choreographer of the future’ to make work for future festivals. Dance Umbrella 2018 will take place from 26 September – 21 October in venues across London Continue reading Dance Umbrella’s Four by Four

Aaron S. Watkin – Semperoper Ballett’s Artistic Director

Aaron Sean Watkin graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada and enjoyed a full career in dancing with The National Ballet of Canada, English National Ballet and Dutch National Ballet. He was then invited by world-renowned choreographer William Forsythe to become a principal dancer with Ballett Frankfurt, and later joined the National Dance Company of Spain under the directorship of Nacho Duato. Continue reading Aaron S. Watkin – Semperoper Ballett’s Artistic Director

The multi-tasking dancer

Dancers are the ultimate masters of multi-tasking, and it seems now there is scientific research to support this. Studies at the University of Maryland in partnership with the University of Houston over the past few years have revealed that dancers use multiple areas of their brains simultaneously while dancing: one part controls movement without expressive intention, another part imagines movement qualities. These parts work together to execute movement while also making higher-level decisions. Continue reading The multi-tasking dancer

Dancing on tour

The chaos and excitement of touring isn’t for everyone. It can be hugely energised and fulfilling, but it does not suit every dancer. For the dancers it does suit, travelling to different places to perform means that few of your days are the same, including what you’re eating, where you’re staying and what the stage feels like. It takes a special level of effort to shape the unpredictability of tour-life into a schedule that works for you. Continue reading Dancing on tour

Flamencos del Sur at The Peña Flamenca de Londres

The Peña Flamenca de Londres, London’s friendly flamenco club, has this year welcomed Flamencos del Sur, a group of top-class performers travelling directly from Granada. Sunday 10 December saw the group present its ‘puro flamenco’, a super-charged gypsy style that is a far cry from choreographed ballet flamenco. Flamencos del Sur was born from Jingle, the well-known British flamenco guitarist who has been based in Spain for many years. Continue reading Flamencos del Sur at The Peña Flamenca de Londres