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Black and White Star in Circle


Traditionally dances from Africa and the diaspora have an egalitarian and inclusive ideology that in translation to western culture enables the involvement of those who consider themselves unable to dance. The traditional dances of West Africa have been my life's work as a teacher, performer, producer, programmer and curator. Last year I produced an ACE funded digital archive. It painted a complex picture of the state of African dance in the diaspora. This informed my decision to pursue work that will build my repertoire as a producer and encourage a wider demographic to embrace dance whilst ensuring a deeper understanding of the history of Sabar, Guinean ballet, Serouba and Cassamance styles, informing work that enables more people to connect with dance in their own lives. Both groups will learn specific African/Diasporic dances and the final performance will showcase the breadth of achievement and understanding to an audience of 25,000 +. I will continue my mission to engage diverse participants /audiences in culturally specific dance repertoires. I will work with new partners that can enable and sustain dance through advocacy and programming: i) A festival performance with AiTP encouraging a more diverse audience in a traditionally white, middle class enclave. ii) Hidden deprivation and isolated ageing communities are represented visually, encouraging a new narrative around dance, its function and evolving ecology. ii) My work as a creator and programmer/teacher is at the centre of a narrative that expands and describes the cultural reference points for dance in those hidden communities.

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