Dance Umbrella Announces Its First Digital Series ‘My Dance DNA’

Following its recent announcement of the 2017 festival programme, Dance Umbrella, in partnership with The Space, today announces a brand new talks series that gets into the minds of Britains top contemporary choreographers and finds out what makes their hearts beat faster.

My Dance DNA is a series of interviews, filmed in front of a live audience and live streamed, with five leading UK choreographers about the inspirations behind and influences on their work.  The artists will discuss the moments of dance and movement on film that have transfixed and transformed them, as well as defining pieces from their own back catalogues. Each edition will be presented by a high-profile figures from another field known personally to the choreographer.

The 60-minute interviews will be staged as live events at arts venues across England and will be filmed by The Space for live broadcast on Facebook, with the full series of videos made available for wider distribution online at a later date.

The first episode of My Dance DNA will be broadcast live from the Birmingham Hippodrome  on Tuesday 27th June 7pm and will feature choreographer and founder of ZooNation Kate Prince in conversation with BBC Young Dancer presenter Karim Zeroual.

Each talk will be split into a 45-minute interview followed by 15 minutes of audience Q+A, including questions from the live audience and submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #MyDanceDNA.

After a short introduction and a quick-fire round of questions about the choreographer’s earliest experiences of dance, the heart of each session will be a discussion of up to six clips of dance on film which have had a great impact on the choreographer’s career. Half the clips will be the choreographer’s own work, half will be external influences, and together they will cover the span of the choreographer’s working life.

The interview will be available to watch free for one week following the live broadcast.

Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Dance Umbrella said, “This is a first for Dance Umbrella, and it’s great to be working with such good partners both digitally with The Space and physically with venues around the country such as Birmingham Hippodrome.  I have no doubt that listening to the artists, and seeing the film clips they choose to share, will open our eyes as to how and why choreographers actually start creating their own work, and hopefully inspire others to consider doing so.”

Fiona Morris, Creative Director and CEO of The Space said, “My Dance DNA will profile some of the UKs greatest contemporary choreographic talent and, by making use of online channels and platforms, extend the appeal of the artistswork. Were also delighted to be working with Dance Umbrella, supporting the organisation in its aims to reach out to a new audience, and with all of the host venues on this truly collaborative project.

Fiona Allan, Birmingham Hippodrome Artist Director and Chief Executive said, “I’m delighted that Birmingham Hippodrome will be hosting the first My Dance DNA live event, and to welcoming Kate Prince here next week.   I’ve long been a big fan of her work, and later this year we will be working with ZooNation to stage Groove on Down the Road in the Hippodromes Patrick Centre studio. Birmingham has an extensive dance scene, with many choreographers and dancers basing themselves here – I have no doubt this will be a very popular session.

Featured Choreographers

Kate Prince & Karim Zeroual – Tuesday 27 June, from the Birmingham Hippodrome

Prince is the artistic director of hip hop dance company ZooNation, a resident company at Sadler’s Wells. Her shows includedInto the Hoods, which became the longest-running dance show in West End history, and Some Like It Hip Hop.

Akram Khan & Kathryn Hunter – Sunday 17 September from Leicester Curve

Khan has been choreographing for 15 years and in that time won numerous awards for his imaginative and lyrical productions including DESH, iTMOi and Gnosis. He has just choreographed a new version of Giselle for English National Ballet. His collaborations have been cross-discipline and include work with Juliette Binoche, Kylie Minogue, Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley. As well as being a choreographer, he is both artistic director and dancer at the Akram Khan Company.

Siobhan Davies & Maria Bradshaw – Friday 22 September, Venue TBC, Manchester

A leading figure in British contemporary dance for several decades, Davies started at the revolutionary London Contemporary Dance Theatre first as a performer then choreographer. In the 1980s, she co-founded the influential group Second Stride with Richard Alston and Ian Spink and later worked as associate choreographer at Rambert Dance Company. She founded Siobhan Davies Dance in 1988 and her work includes pieces in galleries and site-specific locations as she tests the boundaries of dance and art.

Shobana Jeyasingh & TBC, Monday 6 November from Dance East

Internationally-recognised choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh is the founder and artistic director of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance established in 1988, creating dynamic, fearless and enigmatic dance works for over 27 years. Her highly individual work has been seen in a variety of venues including theatres, outdoor and indoor sites and on film and her creative collaborators over the years have been drawn across a variety of media. Especially commissioned music has been a significant feature of Jeyasingh’s work and has led to new scores from an array of contemporary composers ranging from Michael Nyman to beat boxer Shlomo.

Wayne McGregor & TBC, Wednesday 22 November from Wayne McGregor Studio

McGregor is the founder and artistic director of Random Dance as well as being the resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet — the first choreographer from a contemporary dance background to be invited into that role. His work at Covent Garden, including Infra and Woolf Works, has provided a new, contemporary seam of work for the ballet company. McGregor is particularly interested in working science and technology ideas into his work.

Details of the above future My Dance DNA events will be announced soon.

About Author /

Matthew has been writing for the past 5 years about music, sports and movies and has now finally got his chance to write about theatre. Having previously worked for the likes of Kerrang and Uncut, as well as previously having a radio show for 6 Towns, he has interviewed hundreds of bands throughout his career.

Start typing and press Enter to search