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Dance Umbrella 2014

Posted on May 20, 2014

rocio molina felix vazquez

rocio-molina-felix-vazquezDance Umbrella has unveiled its programme for 2014, with a line-up including flamenco star Rocío Molina (pictured), hip hop from Ivan Blackstock and new approach to ice skating at Alexandra Palace.

Running from October 14 to 31, this is the first programme created by the festival’s new artistic director, Emma Gladstone. She has introduced new programming strands, including regular work for children and young people, a four-year commitment to London touring with works presented at outer London arts centres and Body Politic, a new series of discussions and debates.

The festival has also launched a new website at The festival will now be involved in creative digital projects all the year round, with online articles by guest editors, including Dancing Times contributor Sanjoy Roy. There is also a new Moving London Commission Fund, and a year-round Re-Search Programme.

The festival proper includes Flamenco star Rocío Molina dancing her new show Bosque Ardora at the Barbican. She’ll be joined by two male dancers and six musicians.

Choreographer Ivan Blackstock, co-founder of BirdGang Dance Company, presents the world premiere of A Harlem Dream at the Young Vic. Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s, the show mixes popping, locking, lindy hopping and burlesque performance, with a speakeasy atmosphere and an eclectic score by Mercury Prize nominee Soweto Kinch.

Iconoclastic Canadian ice skaters Le Patin Libre appear at Alexandra Palace. Their programme Vertical Influences includes a work where the audience watch the skating from up close, with seating on the ice.

Dance Umbrella also includes a triple bill at the Unicorn Theatre, designed for under-12s – and only under-12s. Hege Haagenrud, Norway’s most popular choreographer for young audiences, explores the ups and downs of friendship in How to be Alone. Sébastian Ramirez and Honji Wang dance AP15, a Bessie award-winning hip hop duet. The programme ends with an excerpt from FAR by Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. Adults and over-12s will only be admitted to one matinee performance. At other performances, parents, carers and older siblings can take part in a range of foyer activities while younger children watch the performance upstairs.

For more information about all performances, see


Picture: Rocío Molina. Photograph: Felix Vazquez





Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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