Opoku-Addaie is new head of Dance Umbrella
19 February 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber
Dance Umbrella has appointed Freddie Opoku-Addaie its new Artistic Director and Chief Executive, only the fourth person to hold this position in 43 years.
East London-born Opoku-Addaie is a choreographer, dancer / performer, curator and teacher whose Ghanaian heritage informs his practice. He was Guest Programmer for Dance Umbrella during a three-year initiative from 2016–2019.
Opoku-Addaie said of his appointment, "I am thrilled to be working with the fantastic Dance Umbrella team again as the next Artistic Director and Chief Executive, following on from the visionary Emma Gladstone. I’m seeing and listening to a generation of artists, creatives and communities who are fuelling a shared movement beyond the established mainstream platforms. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to tangibly expand the global festival stage for contemporary dance and performance. The artist and audience experience has shifted beyond 3Ts (Tick Box / Tokenism / Tolerated) of diversity. In challenging times, it’s more essential than ever that we collaborate to deliver some exciting moves."
Chair of Dance Umbrella Board, Jake Ulrich, said, "we couldn’t be happier or more excited about Freddie leading the festival into the future. Our long-standing relationship with him, coupled with his vision and expertise, made him a stand-out candidate in a very strong field. This is a game-changing appointment for us. I cannot wait to see how his plans and ideas develop"
Opoku-Addaie starts his new role part-time in March 2021 and full-time from May.