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Wednesday 22 June 2022

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Dance Umbrella, London’s annual international contemporary dance festival has today announced the full programme for 2022. Bringing the world’s most exciting international contemporary talent to stages across London, and online for audiences worldwide, this year’s programme has a particular focus on intersectional, diverse, innovative, international and national female dancemakers.


Artistic Director and Chief Executive Freddie Opoku-Addaie’s first full Dance Umbrella festival will take place from 7 - 23 October across the capital and via danceumbrella.co.uk


Freddie Opoku-Addaie said ‘I am buzzing sharing this year’s programme which is filled with talent, invention, intelligence and ferocity.  An intersectional mix of female artists lead the charge and I am proud to be able to platform multiple exceptional artists who have not been presented in London before.  Amongst the international line-up you will find eight UK premieres over 17 days in 12 locations.  Online, we have four world class dance films, panel discussions and the return of our popular Choreographer’s Cut series.  From Sound System culture to Seeking Unicorns - there will be something for everyone to enjoy and be inspired by across our beloved global city.’


Award-winning choreographer Oona Doherty (Northern Ireland) makes her Sadler’s Wells debut, returning to Dance Umbrella after critically acclaimed productions Hard to Be Soft and Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus, with the UK premiere of her latest, large-scale work Navy Blue. Using her distinctive and visceral choreographic style, Doherty creates an unsettling atmosphere as a dark night descends and a group of 12 dancers generate a sense of dread, trapped within a destructive algorithm.  Featuring music from Sergeï Rachmaninoff and Jamie xx this new piece considers where we have been and where we are heading, as it urgently appeals for societal change. Doherty’s films Hunter and The Devil also feature in this year’s Film Programme.


Italian performer, director and choreographer Chiara Bersani (Italy) brings her award-winning work Seeking Unicorns to the National Gallery for its London Premiere. Exploring the concept of the ‘Political Body’, Bersani’s latest work centres on the experience of the unicorn. Historically abused and misinterpreted, the work seeks to give the unicorn its own voice and story, asking ‘..If tomorrow you find me in your garden, what would you do?’ Seeking Unicorns won the Total Theatre & The Place Award for dance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019.


Multi award-winning international artist, nora chipaumire (Zimbabwe/USA) makes her Dance Umbrella debut at Bernie Grant Arts Centre with the World Premiere of ShebenDUB an audio-visual dub culture adventure. Part gig, part dance performance, part social event, chipaumire celebrates the creative and law-defying possibilities of dub, maintaining  that of the many African diasporic inventions, dub is the most provocative and questioning. chipaumire will be joined by international artists including tyroneisaacstuart (UK), Yinka Esi Graves (UK/SP) and Marguerite Hemmings (US). There will also be a panel discussion and an opportunity to see the build of the installation of the show’s environment on site. nora’s film #PUNK also features in this year’s film programme, giving audiences a chance to see more of this innovative artist's work.


Dance Umbrella’s Four by Four next generation international talent commissioning programme culminates with the World Film Premiere of Abby Zbikowski (USA) and the New Utility’s Radioactive Practice. Abby was selected by Stephen Petronio for the commission in Dance Umbrella’s 40th year. After covid-related delays, the piece finally had its first performances in New York’s Times Square this year, where it was filmed for its on -screen Dance Umbrella premiere. Featuring an original score by Raaphael Xavier that draws inspiration from hip-hop, metal and post punk, Radioactive Practice explores a full arsenal of physical possibilities to test its performers to their physical and mental limits. This genre-bending performance will challenge audience perceptions of what dance can be.


Three international artists perform at new-to-the-festival venue Brixton House in Change Tempo, a specially curated mixed bill exploring themes of transformation, transmission and representation.  


Combining Philippine folk dance, classical, hip hop and vogue Joy Alpuerto Ritter’s (Germany)  solo BABAE is inspired by the "masterpiece of strangeness”, Mary Wigman’s Witch Dance Linda Hayford (France) uses popping to communicate her state of mind in the introspective, breakthrough solo creation Shapeshifting. Working with composer Abraham Diallo, Hayford’s evocative style conjures an otherworldly existence as she passes from one form to another. In Brazilian artists Luiz de Abreu and Calixto Neto’s profound solo work O Samba do Crioulo Doido, choreography is passed from one black body to another. By playing with stereotypical elements such as samba, carnival and eroticism, the piece mocks clichés and offers a humorous criticism. Calixto Neto’s documentary O Samba do Crioulo Doido: Ruler and Compass is also featured in this year’s film programme, providing fascinating insight into the making of and passing on of this radical work as Abreu ‘transfers’ the piece to Neto following his recent experience of sight loss.


Georgia Tegou & Michalis Theophanous (Greece) open this year’s festival with a trip to a metaphorical universe in the UK Premiere of new work Reverie. Fusing movement and visual arts, the acclaimed duo conjures a fantasy-like world where characters evoke a surreal and swirling dreamlike state. Tegou recently co-directed the sold-out production Underwater with Xenia Aidonopoulou nationally and at Sadler’s Wells. Theophanous has collaborated with Olivier Award nominated Dimitris Papaioannou (Transverse Orientation, DU 2021) and renowned director Robert Wilson.


Alleyne Dance (UK) and the local community in Lewisham are co-creating a brand new large-scale outdoor performance, Close to Home: The Mass Dance Event, which features an intergenerational cast of 200 - 400 performers. Highlighting themes of change and activism, the work will explore stories of Lewisham and celebrate the positive impact of migration on the community.   Founded in 2014 by twin sisters Kristina and Sadé Alleyne, Alleyne Dance’s choreographic aesthetic reflects a background in athleticism and blends West African, Caribbean, Hip Hop, Kathak and Circus styles. Bringing the festival to a close, Close to Home is part of Lewisham London Borough of Culture.


This year’s Orbital Tour, to 6 venues in every corner of London, including a first time visit to Studio 3 in Barking and Dagenham, is the UK premiere of a family show from de Stilte (Netherlands). Do-re-mi-ka-do creates a world where everyone can join the party, as sound, colour and movement combine to take family audiences into a limitless world of imagination, where play is encouraged and creativity knows no boundaries. 


In its second year as hybrid festival Dance Umbrella has again produced and selected a number of digital works for our global and national audiences, including stunning films, sector focused panel talks, and unique in-conversation content giving exclusive insights to artists’ creative processes and more. In addition to films already highlighted and a number of post show talks, award-winning Candoco (UK) and Boy Blue (UK) present Forging Paths. The two companies - both celebrating landmark anniversaries this year - come together in-conversation with artist, academic and dramaturg Dr Funmi Adewole to talk about how they forged their paths within the dance sector, in the UK and beyond.


Rounding off the 2022 dance film programme is the return of DU21 commission SAY (UK) SAY AF (And Friends), a collaboration between dance artists Sarah Golding and Yukiko Masui and an exciting range of music artists. Merging influences to create their own unique dance style, this film also introduces reggae-influenced artist Casey Pearl & the band; UK beatbox champion MC Zani; the unapologetic and raw Juliana Yazbeck; and South Africa's hottest new duo Tina Redmxn & L Tune ‘Chillin’. 


Dive into some of the most exciting minds in contemporary choreography as Dance Umbrella’s Artistic Director Freddie Opoku-Addaie chats to guests in this year’s edition of Choreographer’s Cut. These fascinating conversations about a specific work selected by each choreographer, this year features: Saburo Teshigwara (Japan) who was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale this year; Wendy Houstoun (UK) and Hetain Patel (UK).     


With a strong dance / music collaboration strand to this year’s programme, Dance Umbrella launches Sound In Motion – A Podcast Series. Listen to conversations that explore the vital relationship between composer and artist featuring Amy May, Mikey J Asante, and Vince Lamagna. Additionally Julia Chen (UK; House of Absolute / Warrior Queen; Cabaret choreographer) and Qudus Onuikeku (Nigeria; Artistic Director Dance Gathering and QDance Center Lagos; and YK Projects Paris) have been commissioned to write feature editorials for our online audiences, more information coming soon.


Dance Umbrella’s Digital Programme can be accessed by purchasing The Digital Pass, which is Pay What You Can (minimum £5) and will give audiences exclusive access to the entire digital programme within this year’s festival. All content will be released on the first day of the 2022 festival (7 October) and will be available on demand until Monday 31 October.



Listings information - all events on sale from July (Oona Doherty Navy Blue on sale now)

REVERIE - UK Premiere
Georgia Tegou & Michalis Theophanous (Greece)
The Place, Fri 7 & Sat 8 October, 7.30pm
Post Show Talk Fri 7 October


ShebenDUB World Premiere
nora chipaumire (Zimbabwe/USA)
Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Thu 13  & Fri 14  October, 7.30pm

nora chipaumore and Freddie Opoku-Addaie in conversation
Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Tue 11 October, 5.30pm

Change Tempo Triple Bill
Linda Hayford (France) Shapeshifting
Luiz de Abreu 
(Brazil) / Calixto Neto (Brazil) O Samba do crioulo doido  
Joy Alpeurto Ritter
 (Germany) BABAE
Brixton House, Wed 12 & Thu 13 October, 7.30pm

de Stilte (Netherlands)
Do-re-mi-ka-do UK Premiere

Orbital Tour Sat 15  – Sun 23 October Times vary

Studio 3 Arts 15 Oct
Watermans Art Centre 16 Oct
The Albany 20 Oct
Stanley Arts 21 Oct
The Place 22 Oct
arts depot 23 Oct 


Oona Doherty (Northern Ireland)  
Navy Blue UK Premiere
Sadler’s Wells, Fri 21 & Sat 22 October, 7.30pm
Post-show talk Fri 21 October with Oona Doherty & Freddie Opoku-Addaie. 


Chiara Bersani (Italy)
Seeking Unicorns London Premiere
National Gallery, Sat 22 & Sun 23 October, 12pm and 3pm 


Alleyne Dance (UK)
Close to Home: The Mass Dance Event World Premiere
Sedgehill Academy, Lewisham, Sat 22 & Sun 23 October, 2pm


Digital Programme

DU22’s digital programme can be viewed from 7 - 31 October and accessed by purchasing a pay what you can digital pass.



Abby Z and the New Utility (US)  - Radioactive Practice
nora chipaumire 
(Zimbabwe/USA) - #PUNK
 (UK) - SAY AF (And Friends)
Oona Doherty 
(Northern Ireland) - Hunter / The Devil


Panel Discussion | Candoco and Boy Blue: Forging Paths
danceumbrella.co.uk Tuesday 18 October, live at 5pm  Available on demand with your DU Digital Pass. 


Choreographer's Cut
Saburo Teshigawara / KARAS
Wendy Houstoun
Hetain Patel


Julia Chen
Qudus Onuikeku


Sound In Motion – A Podcast Series.
Amy May
Mikey J Asante
Vince Lamagna.




About Dance Umbrella

Dance Umbrella is London’s international dance festival, celebrating 21st century choreography across the capital and beyond. Its mission is to entice audiences, nurture artists, innovate practice, and stimulate interest in the power of the body in motion. Since 1978, the annual festival has brought outstanding contemporary dance to London, presenting more than 785 artists from 40 countries to over one million people. Dance Umbrella has commissioned over 85 new works and presented at 136 different venues ranging from Smithfield Market to the British Library; from canal long boats to Alexandra Palace Ice Rink; from inner city car park rooftops to outer London parks. Alongside the festival, Dance Umbrella creates year-round creative learning initiatives for all ages, develops new choreographic talent, hosts thought-provoking debates and discussions, and offers skill sharing opportunities for creative industry professionals. 




Alleyne Dance Company

Alleyne Dance (AD) is a UK based company with an international reach, founded in 2014 by award winning dancers and twin sisters Kristina and Sadé Alleyne. The choreographic aesthetic reflects the sisters diverse background in athleticism and dance training. Within their abstract contemporary construct, Alleyne Dance blend West African, Caribbean, Hip Hop, Kathak and Circus Skills, delivered as fast paced and dynamic movement. They infuse lyrical and fluid motion, layered with rhythm and textures in physically powerful, yet graceful performances. 

Alleyne Dance strives for high quality and excellence as the Company delivers its three main objectives: performance, participation and development. 


Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante MBE

Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante MBE is a renowned producer, composer and DJ, whose 20-year career history is firmly etched in the UK black music industry.


As co-artistic director of hip hop dance theatre company Boy Blue, founded in 2001 with Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy, Asante is credited with the direction and composition of REDD (2019), the film R.E.B.E.L (2018), Outliers (2018), Blak Whyte Gray (2017), The Five & the Prophecy of Prana (2013), Touch (2011), Legacy (2011) and Pied Piper (2007).


As a producer, Asante has worked with major label artists including Delilah, Raleigh Ritchie, Estelle and George The Poet. Notably Asante has worked extensively with Kano including engineering and production on the critically acclaimed album Made In The Manor and the albums Home Sweet Home, London Town and 140 Grime Street. Recent television and theatre work includes composition for Tree, a Kwame Kwei-Armah and Idris Elba creation for Manchester International Festival, composition for Clotilda: Last American Slave Ship a National Geographic documentary special, the BBC documentary The Three Lives of Michael X,  and a collaboration with Brian Eno over two series of Netflix’s Top Boy


Outside of the studio, Asante mentors and delivers master classes in directing, choreography and music and is also found residing in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s faculty as a Professor of electronic music, from where, in 2018, Asante was awarded an Honorary Fellowship (HonFGS). Asante received an MBE to Hip Hop Dance and Music in the 2022 New Year’s Honours.


Chiara Bersani 

Chiara Bersani is an Italian performer and author active in the sphere of Performing Art, research theatre and contemporary dance. Both as an interpreter and as a director / choreographer she moves through different languages and visions. Her works, presented on international circuits, are born as creations in dialogue with spaces of different nature and are aimed primarily at an audience “close” to the scene. Her research is based on the concept of the Political Body and on the creation of practices aimed at training its presence and action. The long collaboration with Alessandro Sciarroni (Leone d’Oro 2019) has allowed her great visibility and followed by the public and critics thanks also to the touching performance Your Girl, presented at Interplay in 2009, in which Chiara personified human frailty.


Boy Blue 

Founded in London in 2001, Boy Blue, the award-winning brainchild of composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante MBE and choreographer Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE, encapsulates the pulse of the city it was born in. 


Weaving frontline stage and screen work around the elevation of hip-hop culture, Boy Blue are an Associate Artist of the Barbican, London.  Since 2007 they have created Pied Piper (2007), which won a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliated Theatre, Legacy (2011), Touch (2011), The Five & The Prophecy of Prana (2013), A Night With Boy Blue (2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2022), the Olivier nominated Blak Whyte Gray (2017), Outliers (2018) - Asante’s musical debut in the Barbican Concert Hall - and REDD, which premiered at the Barbican in 2019.  Film work includes R.E.B.E.L, commissioned by Sky Arts and ‘Art50’ in 2018.


Outside of the theatre, Boy Blue collaborated with Danny Boyle to contribute to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, Sandy leading hundreds of young dancers before staging the handover of the Olympic torch and the lighting of the Cauldron. 

In 2021 Boy Blue worked with Good Chance Theatre Company to create a mass dance piece performed in Trafalgar Square, celebrating Little Amal’s 10th birthday as part of The Walk project.


With a company ethos befitting of the founder’s roots, and a long-term commitment to education, Boy Blue can be found running a highly respected dance education programme in east London. Using a typically unique approach, they enable more than 100 young dancers to train weekly alongside professionals.  In addition, their work Emancipation of Expressionism is a set work of the AQA GCSE Dance syllabus – the first hip-hop dance theatre piece to be included – and was filmed in 2017 by Director Danny Boyle and subsequently screened on the BBC. 


Julia Cheng

Julia Cheng founded House of Absolute in 2014, she is a creative director, choreographer and dance artist with an impressive portfolio of works presented nationally and internationally.


Julia is a 2022 Olivier Award nominated choreographer, in recognition of her critically acclaimed choreography on West End’s Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club.   


Julia is also a judge and mentor for BBC Young Dancer, mentor for the biggest UK Hip Hop Festival Breakin’ Convention, and patron of Next Generation Youth Theatre in her hometown of Luton.  


Julia has worked with Chinese Arts Now, an organisation championing British East Asian artists. Cheng also has co-directed operas, one of which was awarded the George Butterworth Prize 2020 with composer Alex Ho. She has curated cross-art form exhibitions, theatre shows, dance films and youth productions. 


Having judged, won and competed in many Hip Hop battles since 2007, her prolific reputation has led to campaigns with Dr Martens, Vogue Italia, Wella, Kowtow New Zealand and BBC World Service Persia.  


Her influences draw from her dance training of Hip Hop dance, Waacking, contemporary dance, martial arts, theatre studies and eastern philosophy. She prides herself on combining collaborative approaches to processes and has collaborated with poets like Lavinia Greenlaw, to music artists Shingai and Floacist, composers Simon McCorry and Alex Ho, artist/sculptor Laila Muraywid, curator Kerry-Campbell and theatre director/activist Daniel York-Loh.


Having recently choreographed for a double-bill opera with director Isabelle Kettle for the Royal Opera House, Julia is currently working on House of Absolute Philharmonia Orchestra Artist in Residence 2022 projects, developing her production with Sadler's Wells 2022 and directing / choreographing 'anti-opera' Untold with composer Alex Ho for Europe tour in 2023. 


nora chipaumire

nora chipaumire was born in 1965 in what was then known as Umtali, Rhodesia (now Mutare, Zimbabwe). She is a product of colonial education for black native Africans - known as group B schooling - and has pursued other studies at the University of Zimbabwe (law) and at Mills College in Oakland, CA (dance). chipaumire’s latest work is “NEHANDA”, a large-scale opera.


Before and up to the start of the global pandemic chipaumire has been touring "#PUNK 100% POP *NIGGA" (verbalized as “Hashtag Punk, One Hundred Percent Pop and Star NIGGA”), a three-part live performance album. Her other live works include "portrait of myself as my father" (2016), "RITE RIOT" (2012) and "Miriam" (2012). She recently released a Radio Opera (2021), has been featured in several dance films and made her directorial debut with the short film "Afro Promo #1 King Lady" (2016).


Her long-term research project "nhaka," a technology-based practice and process to her artistic work, instigates and investigates the nature of black bodies and the products of their imaginations. “nhaka bhuku 1” has been published in 2020 at the courtesy of Matadero Publishing House (Spain).


nora chipaumire is a four-time Bessie Award winner and was a proud recipient of the 2016 Trisha Mckenzie Memorial Award for her impact on the dance community in Zimbabwe. She was also nominated for a NAMA award as one of those exiled Zimbabweans making an impact on the arts at home and abroad in 2020. chipaumire is honoured to include the acknowledgements of the arts communities in awards such as the recent COVID-19 related “Dance Bubble” grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2021), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant (2016), a Doris Duke Artist Award (2015) and a Princeton Hodder Fellowship (2014). She is currently a Fellow at Quick Center fo


Luiz de Abreu  

Born in Minas Gerais (Brazil), Luiz Augusto Barbosa (known as Luiz de Abreu) discovered dance in the 1960s through the rituals of the Afro-Brazilian Umbanda religion. The choreographer-interpreter is a graduate of the Angel Vianna School of Contemporary Dance in Rio de Janeiro, and holds a master’s degree from the University of Uberlândia in Minas Gerais. Mainly focused on exploring the stereotypes related to the black body, his work has been shown in France, Germany, Portugal, Croatia, Cuba, Spain and Brazil, where he lives and works. His piece O Samba do Crioulo Doido is part of the Centre Pompidou’s videodance collection.  


de Stilte 

de Stilte is a professional dance company in the Southern region of the Netherlands, that focuses entirely on developing productions and performing for children. de Stilte wants to take as many children as possible out of the everyday world into the abstract world of the senses. Encourage children to tell their own story. The boundless story of the imagination. Because we believe that imagination pushes boundaries: by becoming part of the story, by experiencing it and using your imagination, your world becomes larger and more familiar.


Oona Doherty

Oona Doherty is an Irish Choreographer based in Belfast. Oona studied at London School Of Contemporary Dance, University of Ulster and LABAN London (BA Honours and Post Graduate in Contemporary Dance Studies).


Since 2010 she has created and toured internationally dance and theatre works with Companies such as TRASH (NL), Abattoir Ferme (BE), Veronika Riz (IT), Emma Martin /United Fall (IE)


Oona’s work has been recently performed at festivals around Europe including Ravnedans Festival Norway, and the Dublin Dance Festival. Her creations include ‘Docnite’, the first full length programme of her original work consisting of three episodes exploring metaphysical states; ‘Hard to be Soft – Episode One: Lazarus and The Birds of Paradise’ (Belfast Children’s Festival and Dublin Dance Festival); ‘Hope Hunt’ (Galway Dance Days, Tiger Dublin Fringe), ‘Leather Jacket Deluxe’, ‘Lady Magma’ and ‘Echo Hunt’.


Oona has been teaching dance theatre workshops in Europe since 2012. She is an ISSAC  Associate Artist.


In 2016 Oona became The MAC Belfast HATCH Artist and Prime Cut Productions REVEAL Artist.


”My work attempts to play with the barrier between the flesh and the soul, the audience and the stage; to share a kinetic experience. I’m motivated to explore states of pure metaphysical honesty. To bring the sex, the punk, the romance and the chi back into the body, the black box, the white cube, and Ireland.’’


Funmi Adewole Elliott

Funmi Adewole Elliott is a performer, dramaturge and academic. ‘Funmi started out as a media practitioner in Nigeria but moved into performance on relocating to England in 1994. For several years she toured with Physical theatre and African dance drama companies whilst working as a dance consultant and in voluntary leadership capacities with several arts organisations. In 2019 She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by One Dance UK for her advocacy work which contributed to a shift in perception of Black dance in the UK. She has an international reputation as a speaker.  She has facilitated dramaturgical labs, conversations and panels in Europe, Africa, and Canada and has featured as an expert in a number of dance documentaries.  She holds an M.A in Postcolonial Studies from Goldsmiths college and a PhD in Dance Studies from De Montfort University, Leicester where she is now a senior lecturer in the dance department.


Linda Hayford

Based in Rennes, Linda Hayford was born in 1989 in a family in which music was an important component of the environment and love of dance became a legacy. She started learning Funk style dances through Poppin technique in 2000 from her brother Mike Hayford. From then on, she learnt many different styles now included in the Hip Hop aesthetics such as New style and House Dance.


Wendy Houstoun

Wendy Houstoun is a movement/theatre artist whose work has developed a uniquely distinctive style combining movement with text, and meaning with humour. 


Starting with Ludus Dance in 1980 she has since created a substantial body of solo work confronting the themes of ageing, death, drinking and the state of England with typical commitment and irreverence. 


These pieces have run alongside work with influential companies:  DV8 Physical Theatre, Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment, Vincent Dance Company, Lumiere and Son Theatre, and artists:  David Hinton, Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, Nigel Charnock and Rose English, in large and small stages, specific sites, film and installation.


Vincenzo Lamagna

Vincenzo Lamagna is a musician, composer and producer. His music is known for its visceral, emotive and edgy language that utilises a mercurial combination of acoustic and electronic sounds, recognised for their ferocious industrial undertones, haunted melodies and cinematic soundscapes.


Alongside his work as a solo artist, Lamagna has established himself as a successful composer in the Contemporary Dance and Ballet world. In 2015 he began a long standing collaboration with Akram Khan that brought to life a string of successful works including The 21st Century adaptation of “Giselle” for English National Ballet.  Lamagna’s “magnificently cinematic score” is unanimously praised by both press and audiences and led him to be the first composer to be nominated by the Critics’s Circle for a National Dance Award in 2017.


At present Vincenzo is working with state of the art spatial audio technology “L-ISA” to create a unique immersive experience, expanding the dimensions of his compositional work and live performance.


Amy May

Amy is a composer, arranger and multi instrumentalist, specialising in the viola and violin.


Her music has been described as being "like Arcade Fire playing in an English country garden.” (NME). She writes commercial music for TV, films and adverts, and collaborates with contemporary artists, performers and film makers. She orchestrates and arranges for bands from Muse to SBTRKT and helps create and realise live performances of music by electronic and non-classical artists.


Amy currently plays viola and violin for the multiple Grammy award winning 'Hamilton', is the Principal Viola of the Heritage Orchestra and works as a live and session musician for  a wide range of bands and artists, from Snow Patrol to Emeli Sande.


Calixto Neto

Trained in theatre at the Federal University of Pernambuco, then in dance at the Grupo Experimental de Dança in Recife, the Brazilian choreographer and interpreter.


Calixto Neto followed the Master ex.e.r.ce at the CCN in Montpellier. Between 2013 and 2015, he created the solo petites explosions. Member of Lia Rodrigues’ company between 2007 and 2013, he is also a performer for Mette Ingvartsen, Anne Collod and Bo-Kevin Jean. He also develops his own work in the pieces oh!rage, Outrar (upon a proposal by Lia Rodrigues) and Feijoada as well as the films O Samba do Crioulo Doido: ruler and compass and Pro Futuro Quilombo.  


Qudus Onikeku

Qudus was born and grew up in Surulere district of Lagos, Nigeria. Very quickly he had the urge to express something of himself, and it was at the age of 5 that he began to discover his acrobatic prowess. Through his love of acrobatics, he discovered dance at 13. In 2009, Qudus graduated from the École nationale supérieure des arts du cirque in France. With a special interest in Acro-Dance, since then he has managed to create a movement identity that fuses dance and acrobatics, while making his Yoruba traditional philosophy his basis, combining it with several other influences such as hip hop, capoeira, tai chi and contemporary dance vocabularies, to weave a certain understanding of dance, art, politics and everything in between.


For more than a decade, he has retained a presence in the Nigerian choreographic scene, and became part of the new generation of creators springing from Africa. Qudus is well known in Europe, the USA, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean for his solo works, writings and public space happenings. He has also danced, collaborated and toured widely with renowned artists all over the world.


Hetain Patel 

Hetain Patel is a London based artist. His live performances, films, sculptures, and photographs have been shown worldwide in galleries, theatres, and on iconic public screens including Piccadilly Circus, London and Times Square, New York. His works have been presented at the Venice Biennale, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing and Tate Modern, London to Sadler’s Wells, where he is a New Wave Associate. 

His work exploring identity and freedom, using choreography, text and popular culture appears in multiple formats and media, intended to reach the widest possible audience. His video and performance work online have been watched over 50 million times, which includes his TED talk of 2013 titled, ‘Who Am I? Think Again’.


Patel is represented by Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai, is a Patron of QUAD, Derby, and a trustee of the Liverpool Biennial. He is the winner of the Film London Jarman Award, 2019, Kino Der Kunst Festival’s Best International Film 2020, and has been selected to participate in British Art Show 9, 2021/22. In 2021 Patel received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Artist Award, declined a British Empire Medal and was a judge on Sky Arts television series, Landmark.


Joy Alpuerto Ritter

Joy Alpuerto Ritter was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. In her youth she was trained at the Ballettschule Armin Krain and learned Philippine Folk Dance in the cultural dance group led by her mother. In 2004 Joy graduated at the Palucca School in Dresden, Germany with a dance diploma. She started working as a freelance dancer with choreographers like Christoph Winkler, Heike Hennig Wangramirez, Constanza Macras and Yui Kawaguchi. 


After expanding her repertory in urban dance styles, she became part of the Hip Hop and Voguing Ballroom culture scene in Berlin and has won prizes in several Dance Battle Competitions. In 2011 she joined Cirque du Soleil as a dancer and aerial artist for the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour. Since 2013 she has been a dancer and rehearsal director of the Akram Khan Company and has been nominated as "outstanding female dancer" (modern) in the Performance Until the Lions by the National Dance Awards UK in 2016.


In the last years Joy has been creating her own work like Unda (premier at the Barbican London), Alter Egos (Sophiensaele Berlin), Heimkehr (coproduction LOFFT das Theater), rOOms (Co-funded by the creative europe program of the european union). 


With her solo work BABAE, she has found international response as a Choreographer and is one of the Aerowaves artists 2020. Her work as a (an associate) choreographer established new collaborations with Akram Khan (UK), Ballett Black (UK), Chen Shi-Zheng (New York), Riz Ahmed (UK), Viviana Durante (UK), Floria Sigismondi (USA/CA), Florence and the Machine (UK).


Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE

Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE, Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Boy Blue, Associate Artist at the Barbican London, is undoubtedly one of the most renowned choreographers and performers in the UK commercial and theatrical scenes.


Sandy’s credits are extensive having worked in TV, film and theatre, at home and abroad, alongside Boy Blue’s 2001 inception. As a choreographer he’s responsible for REDD (2019), Outliers (2018), the Olivier nominated Blak Whyte Gray (2017), The Five & the Prophecy of Prana (2013), A Night With Boy Blue(2018, 2016, 2015, 2013) and Olivier award winning Pied Piper: A Hip-Hop Dance Revolution (2007). He also co-directed and choreographed Unleashed for the Barbican (2012).


Off the main stage, Sandy collaborated with director Danny Boyle for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, winning the Evening Standard’s Beyond Theatre award. Sandy also worked on the Closing Winter Paralympic 2014 Ceremony and the 2007 Tour De France opening in Trafalgar Square, London.


On screen work includes choreography on the BAFTA Awards, for All Stars and T2 Trainspotting, plus appearances on Street Dance 3D, the BBC’s So You Think You Can Dance and CBBC’s Alesha’s Street Dance Stars. In 2015 he judged the inaugural BBC Young Dancer Competition. As a performer himself, his repertoire includes Legacy Re:Loaded at the Jerwood Dance House and Jonzi D’s Lyrikal Fearta Redux at Sadler’s Wells.


No stranger to the music industry, Sandy, a former UK Street Dancing Champion, has performed with Victoria Beckham, Fergie (Black Eyed Peas), Leona Lewis and George Michael to name a few.  Accomplished in all styles of street dance – break-dancing, popping and gymnastics – Sandy’s also created choreography for an array of artists including FKA twigs, Rita Ora, Plan B, Dizzee Rascal and Alexandra Burke. Brands have also called for Sandy’s Midas touch; work with Nike, adidas, Castrol and ASOS starring on his CV.


Born in east London, perhaps the most surprising element to Sandy’s story is that he didn’t start dancing until he was 19. With long-held dreams to be a basketball player, the course of his life quickly changed when he joined his first dance troupe, Ruff Stuff, led by MTV’s Kat B, where he soon became the trickster, thanks to his acrobatic abilities.


Fast forward and in 2017 Sandy was an awarded an MBE for services to dance and the community in the Queen’s New Years honours list, an Honorary Fellowship (HonFGS) from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2018 and in 2019, a Companionship from LIPA.


Georgia Tegou

Georgia Tegou approaches ‘dance-as-design.’ blurring the boundaries of dance and movement with other visual and spatial arts more readily associated with design, highlighting their interdependent relationship. Inspired by architecture, sculpture, fashion and visual art, she uses physical motion to depict aspects of the human condition. The human body, its energy and dynamic as well as its potential for transformation through movement and space is the main element and primal matter for creation. She uses ‘design as a process’ in choreographic composition as well as ‘design as a product’ aiming for results that prioritize the visual experience. Her performances and installations are created through collaborative processes resulting in experiences that blend contemporary dance, visual physical theatre and performance art.



Saburo Teshigawara 

Saburo Teshigawara began his unique creative career in 1981 in his native Tokyo after studying plastic arts and classic ballet. In 1985, he formed KARAS with Kei Miyata and started group choreography and their own activities. Since then, he and KARAS have been invited every year to perform in major international cities around the world.


In addition to solo performances and his work with KARAS, Saburo Teshigawara has also been receiving international attention as a choreographer/director. He has been commissioned by many international Ballet companies such as the Paris Opera to create repertoire pieces for the company. 


Teshigawara has likewise received increasing international attention in the visual arts field, with art exhibitions, films/videos as well as designing scenography, lighting and costume for all his performances.


Teshigawara’s keenly honed sculptural sensibilities and powerful sense of composition, command of space and his decisive dance movements all fuse to create a unique world that is his alone. Keen interests in music and space have led him to create site-specific works, and collaboration with various types of musicians.


Besides the continuous workshops at the KARAS studio in Tokyo, Saburo Teshigawara has been involved in many education projects. Recent young members of the company KARAS are from the project Dance of Air, an educational project bringing out a performance as a culmination of a year-long workshop process, produced by the New National Theatre Tokyo. S.T.E.P. (Saburo Teshigawara Education Project) has been initiated since 1995 with partners in the UK, also in the same style as Dance of Air. In 2004, he was selected as the mentor of dance for The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, to work for one year with a chosen protégé. From 2006 to 2013, he taught at the College of Contemporary Psychology, St. Paul’s (Rikkyo) University in Japan. Since 2014, he is professor at the Tama Art University, department of Scenography Design, Drama, and Dance. Through these various projects, Saburo Teshigawara continues to encourage and inspire young dancers, together with his creative work.


Since 2013, he has established his own private creative space KARAS APPARATUS in Ogikubo, Tokyo. Here, he constantly creates a performance series called “Update Dance”.


His work has won numerous awards and honours in Japan and abroad, including a Bessie Award in 2007, the Medal of Honor by the Emperor of Japan in 2009 and in 2017 he was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France. He is going to be awarded The 2022 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Venice this year.


 He is the Artistic Director of Aichi Prefectural Art Theater.


Michalis Theopahnus

Michalis is a movement artist. A graduate of the Greek National School of Dance (KSOT), he also holds an MRes in Choreography & Performance from the University of Roehampton, London.


In his continued efforts to approach the very core of performance, he develops his work by means of different artistic disciplines and genres that revolve around dance and the visual arts.


He has a longstanding collaboration with the Greek theatre director and choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou, appearing in “Inside” (2011), “Primal Matter” (2013 – a duet with Papaioannou), and “Still Life” (2014). In recent years, he has also collaborated closely with the American theatre director Robert Wilson, starring with Lucinda Childs in his “Adam’s Passion” (2015 – music by Arvo Pärt), and playing the title role in his production of “Oedipus Rex” (2018).


As a performer, he has worked with numerous choreographers, companies and organisations, including the Hellenic Dance Company (GR), Carte Blanche (NO), Konstantinos Rigos (GR), the National Theatre of Greece, and the Theatre Organisation of Cyprus (THOC).


He has presented choreographies at London’s Dance Umbrella, the Festival of Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Onassis Stegi in Athens, the Napoli Teatro Festival and elsewhere, with support from the Arts Council England, Change Performing Arts, the University of Roehampton, London, and others. His latest choreography, “Reverie” – co-created with Georgia Tegou – was premiered in February 2020 at Onassis Stegi as part of the Onassis New Choreographers Festival 7.


Beyond his work as a performer and choreographer, he also works as a movement director for the theatre. He has also served as a rehearsal coordinator and assistant choreographer for Compagnie Linga in Switzerland for many years.


He recently relocated from London to Athens to appear in Papaioannou’s upcoming untitled work, set to premiere at Onassis Stegi in 2020/2021.



Abby Z and the New Utility

Abby Zbikowski created her company Abby Z and the New Utility in 2012. She is a 2020 United States Artists Fellow and received the 2017 Juried Bessie Award for her “unique and utterly authentic movement vocabulary in complex and demanding structures to create works of great energy, intensity, surprise, and danger.” In 2018 Dance Umbrella UK awarded her a “Choreographer of the Future” commission. She is an inaugural Caroline Hearst Choreographer-In-Residence at the Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton University (2017-19), current artist in residence at New York Live Arts (2018-20), and has been in residence at Bates Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, and the STREB Lab for Action Mechanics.She is an assistant professor of Dance at the University of Illinois and on faculty at American Dance Festival. She has taught at the Academy of Culture in Riga, Latvia; at Festival Un Pas Vers L’Avant in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and studied at Germaine Acogny’s L’École de Sables in Senegal. Zbikowski holds a BFA in dance from Temple University and an MFA from The Ohio State University. Zbikowski has performed with Charles O. Anderson/Dance Theater X, Momar Ndiaye, and the Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. Her company has been presented nationally, performing at venues such as Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA, and the Fuse Box Festival in Austin, TX, among others. 

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