Dance Umbrella 2001 on CriticalDance

If this is your first visit to CriticalDance, welcome to the leading international website covering all forms of performance dance. In the left-hand margin you'll find links to all parts of the site. If you like dance you're almost bound to find something to your taste.

We have a strong track record of support for contemporary dance and therefore we are delighted to be collaborating with Dance Umbrella to provide a feedback forum for the 2001 festival, which promises to be one of the best ever. Londoners will see work from some of today's leading choreographers and the new companies from around the world which are setting the pace in the 21st Century.

In the left-hand column you'll see an index to all the events. Click on the company names and you'll jump to our Dance Umbrella forum where, for starters, we have pulled together links to the event details and other information including earlier reviews, discussions and websites. When the festival starts we shall be adding a wealth of information, including previews and reviews for every event by our team of critics, but most important we want you to take part. By registering, a painless process we promise, you can add your own comments and reviews on the various programmes.

Dance Umbrella is a key event in the dance life of the UK and here at CriticalDance we hope we can help you to get even more out of this fine celebration of dance art.

New Reviewers' Competition

Dance Umbrella, Dance Theatre Journal and criticaldance have joined together to organise a New Reviewers' Competition to encourage the use of the Internet for critical writing. Websites such as criticaldance offer a real chance for new dance critics to practise their craft and reach a worldwide audience.

There will be £50 prizes for up to 3 winners and a selection of the reviews will be published in Dance Theatre Journal, one of the most highly respected dance magazines in the UK.

If you're new to reviewing, that's OK and to help you we have an introductory guide to on-line reviewing.

Here is the thread in our forum with the full rules of the Competition and where you can register that you want your reviews to be considered.

Introduction to Dance Umbrella 2001

by Val Bourne, Artistic Director

Dance Umbrella is delighted to launch its first Promenade Performances at Sadler's Wells as part of this year's festival. This means that you can see both the Mark Morris Dance Group, whose programme includes a world premiere, and The Michael Clark Company's stunning new show, for as little as £5 each. That should leave you with plenty of cash in hand for other tempting events in Dance Umbrella 2001 which actually opens at the Barbican Theatre the week before, on 3 October, with Israel's Batsheva Dance Company, back in town for the first time in eight years to present Ohad Naharin's scintillating Sabotage Baby.

We are also thrilled to be back again at The Place, in the renamed and refurbished Robin Howard Dance Theatre, where we present a posse of companies led by British choreographers all showing new work, including Richard Alston, Charles Linehan, Russell Maliphant and Fin Walker, as well as Ricochet Dance Company, with commissioned pieces from Gary Carter and Stephen Petronio. Overseas artists appearing in the theatre include José Navas and his Compagnie Flak from Montreal, Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe from Johannesburg, Lenka Flory and Simone Sandroni with their company Déjà Donné from Prague and David Gordon's Pick Up Performance Company from New York, making its first appearance in London since 1985.

Also from New York, Richard Move, whose remarkable homage to Martha Graham packed out the Brick Lane Music Hall two years ago, makes a welcome return to London. This time Martha will be in the West End, at the Criterion Theatre on Piccadilly Circus. Meanwhile, the South Bank Centre is host to Rennie Harris’s Rome and Jewels, a ground-breaking rendition of Shakespeare's classic tale of star-crossed lovers, featuring hip hop and break dancers, an MC/rapper and three DJs. Next in to the Queen Elizabeth Hall are two visually stunning multi-media productions: Luna, brought to us by O Vertigo from Montreal and Moving Target by Charleroi Danses from Belgium.

Down at Greenwich choreographer Carol Brown and visual artist Esther Rolinson install their Machine for Living in the Borough Hall, whilst an international artists' collective present Trajets as part of this year's Virtual Incarnations at the ICA. The Video Place presents its Dance on Screen programme back at its home base and this year's festival debate is on the vexed question of just why dancers are still Paying for the Privilege of performing for their public.

Val Bourne
Artistic Director, Dance Umbrella

Layout & Design: Lena Marie Stuart
US Director: Azlan Ezaddin
UK Director: Stuart Sweeney

All contributions as noted in each feature.