Dance Umbrella is an annual event where South Africans can see themselves. It was created 30 years ago as a democratic platform that connects dancers, choreographers and companies across racial, cultural and artistic divides. The festival launched the careers of many South African choreographers and has a track record for development and a fantastic reputation internationally. But despite all its clout, it suffers from a lack of interest and investment from funders. Since the withdrawal of FNB as the main funder in 2011 — it had supported Dance Umbrella for 19 years — it was supported by the Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival for three years, before the National Lotteries Commission became the main sponsor in 2014. "Funders don’t understand and create relationships with projects. They don’t come see the work and don’t care. "The Department of Arts and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy, from which we received funding for the past three years, has not come on board for the f...

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