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Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Deadline for applications: October 17, 2014

(The following article is made available in arrangement with the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO). See ACT’s website

After three years as part of the Arts Alive International Festival, Dance Umbrella 2015 will be back in its traditional annual calendar slot next year.

The Dance Umbrella Festival had its beginnings in 1989 when two journalists, Marilyn Jenklns and Adrienne Sichel, both with a passionate interest in contemporary choreography and dance, approached the major business-arts partnership at the time, Vita Promotions, requesting that they initiate a contemporary dance festival in South Africa; under the aegis of AA Life, Vita Promotions, under the directorship of Philip Stein, launched the Vita Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg. Today the Festival, under the artistic directorship of Georgina Thomson, features new works from South African and/or African choreographers, international artists and young emerging artists and is acknowledged as the premier contemporary dance festival in Africa.

Dance Umbrella 2015, funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, will run from February 28 to March 14 at the Dance Factory, the Market Theatre, the Soweto Theatre and the MOAD Gallery in the Maboneng Precinct.

The format of the Umbrella has been artistically re-structured to open the spaces and opportunities for dance creators who are interested in working within a contemporary context, with a focus on the following:

The main Dance Umbrella programme, which will feature commissioned work from South African choreographers, invited international works and selected works from the applications received (with a strong interest being shown for collaborative works between local and international artists); A Young Choreographers programme, which will focus on young choreographers who are interested creating challenging work and are working within training institutions and/or companies;

A new programme – Street Beat Dance, which will be open to Hip Hop, Pantsula and Youth group entries for work that can run up to 15 minutes; and a series of workshops which will be held in selected regions in Gauteng from which 12 works will be selected to make up the Street Dance Programme. This fun upbeat programme is presented in partnership with Oupoks Projects and Services; and the Negotiating Space programme, which will be run in partnership with the Sibikwa Arts Centre and will be presented at the MOAD Gallery, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg.

Solo installation works (which must not exceed 15 minutes) that include multi-media will be presented in specific spaces at the Gallery. It is suggested that choreographers who wish to be part of this programme should visit the MOAD Gallery, 281 Commissioner Street, Johannesburg to see what the space offers, before sending in their applications.

All production costs including theatre rentals, technical back-up, publicity and marketing of the event will be covered by Dance Umbrella. There is also a budget to assist companies from other areas in South Africa if their work is selected.

The closing date for applications for Dance Umbrella 2015 is October 17, 2014.

For further information call Lindiwe or Georgina 011 492 2033 or visit