Signatures And Black British Dance Platform

Wednesday 1 May

Two platforms in one evening of dance for Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2024, Signatures and the Black British Dance Platform come together to showcase emerging dancers and choreographers locally, nationally and internationally for a unique mixed bill performance.

 

Signatures

Led by Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage, Signatures showcases the best in international emerging dance practice, nurturing 78 artists over the last fourteen years. This year selected artists demonstrate innovative practice connecting across the African Diaspora and Europe.

Woven Mystery
Clemence Oliver (France/Tanzania)

Woven Mystery is a spellbinding dance piece inspired by the symbolism of the spider and its web. This piece delicately explores the way in which invisible forces can gradually creep in, creating an imperceptible web around individuals until they find themselves trapped.
Through their movement, the dancers illustrate the progressive manifestation of this hold. Woven Mystery invites us to reflect on the subtle links that are being woven in our own lives, encouraging us to listen to our intuition and recognise the warning signs to avoid becoming imprisoned.

Death of The Bachelors
BlacBrik (UK)

Death of The Bachelors follows two older men who form an unlikely friendship as they reminisce about their younger days as bachelors. Through their conversations, they reflect on the choices they’ve made and the paths their lives have taken, both good and bad. As they come to terms with their past and the inevitability of aging, they celebrate the power of friendship and the beauty of life’s journey.

Black British Dance Platform

A collaboration between Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage and FABRIC, the Black British Dance Platform has a strategic aspiration to support and nurture dance artists from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora who are based in the UK, with an ambition to present work internationally. The platform supports the aims of cultivating a sector that is representative of contemporary Britain. Now entering its fourth year, previous participants include Fubunation, Dani Harris Walters, Seren Marimba, Walker Movement Theatre Company, Cherilyn Albert, Chad Taylor, Blake Arts and Rose Aïda Sall Sao. This year the platform presents two new pieces of work.

Let Freedom Ring
Djoe Tomakloe (UK)

28 August 2023 marked the sixtieth anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for jobs and freedom. As one of the poignant moments of the civil rights movements, the piece reflects the passion heard in King’s voice, as he calls for civil and economic rights but to also end racism in the United States of America. The piece is an artistic fusion of dance forms: ballet, contemporary dance, hip-hop and electric boogie/body popping, which reflect on the artistic generic expression of personal character.

The historic period of the civil rights past and present is a stark reminder of social indifference and stagnation of dreams for social change for the African Diaspora. Set against the backdrop of the famous “I have a dream” speech, this performance provides a poignant reflection on Martin Luther King Jr’s words and the continuing struggle for civil rights and what this means today.

Negus Genesis
Toussaint to Move (Jamaica/UK)

The beginning, the primordial existence of the concept before it becomes formed. In a space before the coronation of the Negus, there is a space of spirit and ritual that brings forth the physical. The incantation of Negus evokes: devotion, discipline, leadership and glory triumphantly. Negus Genesis exposes this space where the chosen is decided and what no longer serves falls away to make space for new modes of being. Negus, believed by many scholars to be an ancient Ethiopian word meaning emperor or king, seems to have been shifted into becoming another N word of derogative nature. This work is a means to rewrite what has been done and bring to light the true power of the sound of Negus.

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