A lively panel discussion on the topic of ‘Contemporary vs. Tradition: navigating through contemporary spaces.’
Bringing together some of the UK’s most exciting talent working within Dance of the African Diaspora, including Alleyne Dance, Dickson Mbi, Joseph Toonga and Alesandra Seutin, this session invites artists to reflect on their experiences of making work that spans indoor and outdoor spaces, connecting with audiences and navigating perceptions of their practice as Black dance makers. The discussion will be facilitated by Oluwatoyin Odunsi (board member) and Iona Waite (education officer) of Ace dance & music.
Places are limited so please book early to reserve your place.
Alleyne Dance is a UK based company with an international reach, founded in 2014 by sisters Kristina and Sadé Alleyne. The choreographic aesthetic reflects the sisters diverse background in athleticism and dance training. Within their abstract contemporary construct, Alleyne Dance blend Afro-Caribbean, Hip Hop, Kathak and Circus Skills, delivered as fast paced and dynamic movement. They infuse lyrical and fluid motion, layered with rhythm and textures in physically powerful, yet graceful performances.
Alleyne Dance has received over 15 choreographic commissions and the company’s current productions, A Night’s Game and The Other Side of Me, have been touring internationally for several years. In autumn 2020, Alleyne Dance will be realising a new short interactive Dance film named, (Re)United.
The company’s participation work has been delivered in a range of settings around the world and is designed to support the individual’s creative mind, passion, determination, strength, and most importantly, their intention and belief in themselves. During the global pandemic, Krisitna and Sadé launched an online home workout series named, Alleyne Sisters Workout.
In 2020 Krisitna and Sadé were jointly awarded Best female Dancer of the year for their performance A Night’s Game in Impulstanz Vienna 2019, awarded by Kritikerumfrage-Jahrbuch 2020 (Critic Survey – Yearbook 2020), Publishedby Der Theaterverlag, Tanz Jahrbuch 2020 magazine.
Dickson, studied at Lewisham College and London Contemporary Dance School. A world-renowned dancer in the Hip Hop dance community for his popping skills, which is integral to his work today he has worked with awarding artists like Russell Maliphant and Boy Blue Entertainment. He featured in the Lucozade Revive advertisement in 2012, nominated for ‘Best Achievement in Dance’ at the UK Theatre Award, ‘Emerging Artist’, ‘Outstanding Male Performer (Modern)’ at the National Dance Awards Critic Circle 2017 and the South Bank Sky Arts Awards for the ‘Times Breakthrough Artist’ 2018.
International performer, choreographer and teacher Alesandra, daughter to South African and Belgian parents, was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. She grew up in Brussels and now lives in London. She holds a Diploma in dance theatre from Laban and a degree in choreography and performance from Middlesex University in London. Alesandra also further trained at the École des Sables, Senegal and became a student of Germaine Acogny, training directly under Acogny. Alesandra is a worldwide ambassador of the Acogny technique, which she teaches at Ecole des Sables and globally.
Alesandra has performed for several noted artists including, Johnathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion, Helge Lentonja, Rosemary Lee, Hugo Glendinnings, Germaine Acogny and Rafael Bonachela, to name a few. She has been working on a new work Dear Winnie for JR.CE.SA.R supported by KVS & NNT, which has toured in Holland 2019-2020, will resume tour in Belgium 2020-21 and internationally in 2022.
As Artistic Director and Choreographer Alesandra has created work for Phoenix Dance Theatre, Trinity Laban, 12º North Dance, State of Emergency and 3rdEDge, and she will be a Guest Artistic Director for the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) 2020-21. Alesandra also works as a facilitator and teacher leading intensive workshops and classes internationally for professional companies, dance organisations and training institutions in Europe and Africa.
Alesandra founded Vocab Dance in 2007 and has progressively built an international reputation for creating thought provoking and visually striking performances for small to large-scale theatres, as well as non-theatre settings. Past company productions include Ceci n’est pas Noire, Temps Mort, Word!, So.We.To, Frusted, Atomic Sun and Kwenda-Kwenda. Current works include Giant and a new group work Boy Breaking Glass, which premiered at Sadler’s Wells, London in October 2018.
Joseph Toonga is originally from the Cameroon and was raised in East London. He is a choreographer existing in different territories, creating nationally and internationally, touring his own work and being commissioned to create on others. Alongside extensive teaching and independent commissions, Joseph is Artistic Director of his company Just Us Dance Theatre, through which he has established annual mentorship programmes developing and supporting emerging Hip Hop performers.
Joseph’s signature style is embedded in Hip Hop practices – combining the rawness, compactness and precision of Hip Hop with shapes and structures from contemporary choreography. His craftsmanship pushes the boundaries of Hip Hop theatre, utilising real life stories to explore and physicalise emotive themes relevant to today’s society.
In 2016, Joseph co-founded Artists 4 Artists with Emily Crouch and Lee Griffiths – the UK’s first artist led initiative working to raise the visibility of the Hip Hop sector through artist development, producer support and wider industry conversations. Joseph is at the forefront of change within dance. By bringing together different dance forms he creates work that is relatable, poignant and innovative.