Saluting Our Sisters – Black History Month at Crate St James

Saturday 28 October

Dance performance, workshop, film and Q&A in celebration of Black History Month 2023.


11:00am-12:00pm – Afro Contemporary Dance workshop with Alison Ray accompanied by live drumming. Alison Ray is a Choreographer, Dance Lecturer, Author, and Historian. Alison’s dance workshop will incorporate a blend of West African movement styles and rhythms to energise you, while reconnecting you with this grounded dance style.

12:00-12:15pm – Performance of year 1 dance students from Walthamstow’s Big Creative Academy who have been working with dancer Celestina Banjo to explore a myriad of styles born from Africa and its diaspora. This includes a dance journey through the continents and encourages dancers to explore self-love through dance. Black Women in WW2

12:15-12:30pm – Film showing: Black Women in WW2The short film was created by Alison Ray Creative Director and Film Director Ben Moulougui. The film explores the Black women who served in WW2: Lilian Bader (RAF), Adelaide Hall (USA) Connie Mark ( ATS Jamaica), Odessa Gittens (ATS Barbados), and Joyce Cyrus ( WAAF Trinidad). Alison Ray choreographer of The Unknown Soldier, decided to create the film to celebrate these women, and there are many more that are often hidden from the story books. The film is funded by the London borough of Waltham Forest.

12:30-12:45pm – Q&A with Alison Ray

Free event funded by London Borough of Waltham Forest and hosted by Crate St James Street. Event organised by Mbilla Arts in partnership with Alison Ray Dance Company, Celestina Banjo and Big Creative Academy.