REF 2021 Dance Umbrella


The Dance Umbrella at 40 and beyond website in its entirety constitutes the submission. The research output(s) can be accessed through the publicly available pages through this link:

The research includes the documentation of Dance Umbrella at 40 and associated practices/dialogues. The dropdown menus provide access to recorded interviews, talks and related documentation.

NOTE: Once on the Dance Umbrella pages, you may need to insert the url of this page
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Title of Output: Dance Umbrella at 40
Author: Bannerman, C. (Website Author, Chief Editor)
Co-authors: Emma Gladstone Co-editor
Dates: Documentation and curation September 2018 (website launched) to March 2021

ORCID: 0000-0002-8203-4872

Statement (300 words)

The Dance Umbrella at 40 and beyond website is designed to capture key moments in an historic event, to document reflections of the current and past Directors and the voices of artists at a significant moment. Dance Umbrella (DU) has played a key catalytic role in developing a vibrant and unique dance culture as part of an international, interconnected and dynamic network. I choreographed for the inaugural DU festival and have watched it evolve over 40 years, creating and riding a wave of dance expansion; and then, under Gladstone’s leadership, re-inventing itself to deal with a greatly reduced budget and a changed landscape. The process was a revisiting, bringing my own and engaging with others’ personal and professional histories and navigating sensitivities still present from events long past.

My intentions were to honour the past and to acknowledge its significance; and to recognise DU’s new role in the networks of arts professionals who are active across continents and who find new ways to engage with communities and issues through dance. Categorisation presents issues: in the UK those known as producers, programmers, festival or agency directors, are termed ‘cultural operators’ in the EU, recognising a role that has broadened as has the art form. Alongside others, Gladstone is a key exemplar of this new role – taking dance to places where it has not previously been visible, bringing new audiences and moving effortlessly between accessible innovation and rigorous, minimalist durational work.

The website extended access during the 40th anniversary, and now provides evidence of a particular and special time before new challenges arose: Brexit, Covid-19, climate change and Black Lives Matter all asking questions of how to sustain live performance and who is supporting which artists. Researching DU beyond 40 has added new dimensions to the website.

Mode of Submission

This is a single component output consisting of a website.