Celebrating Let’s Dance International Frontiers’ tenth birthday, 10 Years, 10 Countries, 10 Voices: 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.
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).
Hosted and curated by Pawlet Brookes, the conference programme includes:
Eduardo Vilaro (Cuba/USA)
Is a Cuban-American dancer, choreographer, educator, and Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico.
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.
Léna 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
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 seamlessly merges ancestral movement, culturally contextualised vocabulary 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.
Image: Joe Gonzalez, PHILADANCO! photograph by Julieanna Harris