Conference – 10 Years, 10 Countries, 10 Voices: Black Classics

RR2, Curve
£85 / £70

Early Bird (until Saturday 29 February 2020) £60

Book Ticket

Celebrating Let’s Dance International Frontiers’ tenth birthday, 10 Years, 10 Voices, 10 Countries: Black Classics showcases the legacy of Black dancers, choreographers and practitioners who have paved the way.

Changing the dialogue around how dance from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora is perceived and presented by the mainstream, Black Classics explores the pioneers who have broken down barriers with their creativity and tenacity. They have developed and codified new techniques, setting a benchmark for culturally diverse dance training and putting Black dance in the limelight. Hosted and curated by Pawlet Brookes, the conference programme includes:

Keynote Speakers

Cynthia Oliver (Virgin Islands/USA) is an award-winning choreographer and performance artist. Her ongoing research is in the areas of intersection between contemporary dance, feminism, Black popular culture and the expressive performances of Africans in the Diaspora.

Eduardo Vilaro (Cuba/USA) is a Cuban-American dancer, choreographer, educator, and Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico.


Lena Blou (Guadeloupe) is a choreographer who codified gwo ka dance with a method she calls techni’ka, a modern technique that has been implemented in various mainstream dance schools and international performances across the globe.

Shevelle Dynott (UK) is a company artist at the English National Ballet, having appeared in numerous productions including roles in The Nutcracker and Alice In Wonderland.

Gladys M Francis (Guadeloupe) is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Theory and Cultural Studies at Georgia State University (Atlanta, USA), where she also serves as the Director of Graduate Studies.

Annabel Guérédrat (Martinique) is a dancer, choreographer and performer, as well as one of the founders of FIAP, Martinique’s biennial festival of international performance arts.

Thomas Prestø (Norway) is the founder of Tabanka Dance Ensemble and the creator of the Talawa Technique. His work bridges the gap between urban freestyling, traditions and contemporary dance, whilst making a clear distinction between aesthetic and technical choices.

Alice Sheppard (USA/UK) is an independent artist and Bessie award-winning choreographer creating movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies.

Makeda Thomas (Trinidad/USA) is a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, writer and curator. As well as performing with internationally recognised companies and as a multi-disciplinary solo artist, Thomas is the Founding Director of the Trinidad-based Dance & Performance Institute and a Founding Board Member of the Collegium for African Diasporic Dance.

The programme for the day will also feature a performance by Tabanka Dance Ensemble (Norway), presenting a duet that explores inter-generational responsibility and the resilience of the Black man, and a screening of the short film Home by Signatures artist Samwel Japhet (Tanzania).

Image: Ballet Hispánico, photograph by Paula Lobo

LDIF Programme

Full Programme
Black dancer Kyle Abraham is leaping with arms spread and one leg kicked out behind him. He wears a colourful costume with loose tassels that flow out as he moves.

LDIF20 Launch featuring Kyle Abraham – Cocoon

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Dancer Alice Sheppard, balances on her hands, arms straight, and on a pair of silver crutches, lifting her lower body and wheelchair high. Alice's head is tucked and her short curly hair peaks out from behind her strong arms. She is wearing a shimmery gold bodysuit. She is set against a black background and light reflects off her costume, chair, and crutches. Photo by Mengwen Cao.

Alice Sheppard – Where Good Souls Fear

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Annabel Guérédrat and Henri Tauliaut stand defiantly hand-in-hand in the middle of a street, both wearing red mesh clothing and looking directly ahead.

ArtIncidence – Nu Descendant L’Escalier (Nude Descending A Staircase)

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Angela Bowen, a Black woman with short hair, wears a white top and stands with one arm extended, and her other hand on her heart

Film Screening – The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen (2016)

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