Dance Umbrella, an annual festival of dance, has brought many weird and wonderful things to London over the past few years. To help you find your way through this mass of performances we’ve put together our top picks.
2009 was, in some ways, a bad year for dance with the loss of both Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch. With the Merce Cunningham Dance Company set to be disbanded at the end of 2011 this could be your last chance to see them in all their glory. With an intensive weekend at Stratford Circus (1-2 Oct, £14) and a stint at the Barbican (5-8 Oct, £16-£42), you have a whole host of opportunities to say your farewell.
Israeli dance companies have had London audiences enthralled for many years and the London dance scene is rich with the fruits of their labour. Emanuel Gat’s eagerly anticipated UK Premiere of Brilliant Corners, commissioned by Dance Umbrella, will be at Sadler’s Wells on October 10-11 (£10-£20).
If you fancy a choreographer closer to home you can’t beat London’s own Richard Alston. A Dance Umbrella veteran, first appearing in 1978, his company now moves to the Southbank Centre with revivals of Moving Beyond the Steps and to the Place with Richard Alston at Home.
Lucinda Childs, of Judson Dance Theatre collective fame, is returning to Dance Umbrella this year. DANCE, a rarely performed signature work, will be a treat not to be missed at the Barbican (18-22 October, £16-£34).
Dance Umbrella 2011 is supported by Arts Council England and runs 1-29 October at venues across London. Save 20% on some performances when you book through the Dance Umbrella Hotline 0844 412 4312 or in person at Sadler’s Wells.