‘Funmi Adewole Elliott will be leading a one-day lab that is both a sharing of practice and a research lab. Her background in performance includes touring with African dance-drama companies, Africa beat and fusion music bands, storytelling, movement-based theatre and somatic informed inquiry. She investigates through performance ideas around embodied cognition, code-switching, travel, interaction and modes of performing for self and for others.
At the beginning of the workshop ‘Funmi will share movement principles found in many African dance styles such as low centre of gravity, spine, foot and floor connections, the production of vibrations, rotations, undulations through the body, rhythms, dancing alone, with others, to music and in silence. She will also share ways of connecting voice, posture and gesture from her experience in dance drama. These explorations will form the basis for researching pathways of sensation through the body, and the visualising and performing of journeys through space. Watching each other dance is a key part of the day.
The lab is playful and upbeat. Tasks can be adapted by participants to their own energy level and experience level. Participants do not require a background in African dance styles or storytelling or vocal work but should enjoy dancing in silence and to music, dancing with others, and exploring movement.
‘Funmi Adewole Elliott is a performer, dramaturg and academic. She has a background touring with African dance drama and physical theatre companies. She started out as a media practitioner in Nigeria and moved into performance on relocating to England in 1994. For several years she toured with physical and visual theatre and African dance drama companies. Her credits include performances with Ritual Arts, Horse and Bamboo Mask and Puppetry Company, Artistes-in-Exile, Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble, Mushango African dance and Music Company and the Chomondeleys. She recently performed her solo The Blind Side at the YENSA festival in Canada. As a dramaturg she works mainly with makers who are interdisciplinary or cross-artform in focus. She is a senior lecturer in Dance at De Montfort University, Leicester.