News: Dance Umbrella 2011 on sale now

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Merce Cunningham Dance Company 'Secondhand'
Photo: Anna Finke

This year’s Dance Umbrella festival, which will be bringing a wide variety of contemporary dance to London throughout October, has just gone on sale.

One of the highlights will be the sadness tinged last ever London performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Cunningham died in 2009 at the age of 90, leaving meticulous plans for the company. They are currently in the midst of The Legacy Tour, taking 18 seminal works to some 40 cities. After the final performances on in New York on New Year’s Eve the company will disband. Betsy Gregory, Dance Umbrella’s Artistic Director says: “We are immensely proud to have presented Cunningham’s work for over 20 years and it is hard to believe that this is the UK’s last chance to see his marvellous company of dancers”.

London’s last chance to see the company includes an intensive weekend residency at Stratford Circus (1 & 2 October) which includes performances of *Squaregame* (1976), films and an opportunity for audience members to try out and perform *Field Dances* _(1963), a short Cunningham piece. At the Barbican (5 – 8 Oct) there will be three programmes across four days, including two pieces never seen before in London: _*Antic Meet* _(1958) and _*Secondhand* (1970), revivals of_ Roaratorio (1983) and _*Pondway* (1998) together with RainForest and *Biped* (1999).

Choreographer Rosemary Lee’s large scale intergenerational *Common Dance* _transformed Greenwich Borough Hall as part of Dance Umbrella 2009. This year she’ll be working on an even larger scale, with hundreds of dancers (all ages, professional and non- professional) in Square Dances - four works for Gordon, Woburn, Queen’s and Brunswick Squares in Central London. Live bell ringing will be an integral part of the performances which will take place six times daily over the weekend of 8 and 9 October. “_I want to create epic yet intimate events that fleetingly transform the squares and their atmosphere for a few minutes of the day,” says Lee.

Other highlights include Rejoicing in Revivals – classic and iconic dance pieces by Karole Armitage at Queen Elizabeth Hall (11 – 12 Oct) and Victoria and Albert Museum (14 Oct), and Lucinda Childs at Barbican Theatre (19 – 22 Oct) – and a week’s celebration of Candoco Dance Company’s 20th anniversary at Southbank Centre(9 – 15 Oct).

For the full programme, tickets and more info: **”www.danceumbrella.co.uk“:http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk

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