‘Funmi Adewole draws on her work as a dance dramaturg to reflect on the cultural, disciplinary, and historical trajectories that intersect in creating work which includes African and Diaspora dances and aesthetics. What narratives are produced at the borders of different ways of seeing and being and dancing? And of what use are they? The act of choreographing or creating dance-training systems which include African and Diaspora dances is a complex act. Choreographers and dance artists are often working at the crossroads of intersecting cultural, disciplinary, historical trajectories. She explains the notion of ‘border-thinking’, as theorised by Walter Mignolo, as a decolonial approach to thinking about epistemology, which, amongst other theories, has given ‘Funmi a way of looking at the issue of narrative, language, and African dance aesthetics in theatrical and professional dance contexts.
This talk was delivered in partnership with London Contemporary Dance School.
Films shown in the talk:
Adzido Pan African Dance Ensemble 1
Adzido Pan African Dance Ensemble 2
Adzido Pan African Dance Ensemble 3
Irie! Dance Company Beverley Glean – Natural Mystic
Alvin Ailey Sinnerman
Alesandra Seutin Featuring Ayanna Witter-Johnson This is Not Black (Ceci N’est Pas Noire)
Broad hands and bare feet by S. Ama Wray (Sheron Wray)
Yinka Esi Graves and Asha Thomas – CLAY
‘Funmi Adewole began her career in performance when she relocated from Nigeria to Britain in the 1990s. Her credits include tours with Horse and Bamboo Mask and Puppetry Company, Ritual Arts, Banner Theatre, Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble, and the Chomondeleys. She holds a masters degree in Postcolonial Studies from Goldsmiths College. She is presently a lecturer in the dance department at De Montfort University, Leicester. Her research interests include dance and cultural politics and choreography and dance of Africa and the Diaspora. She continues to perform and also works as a dance dramaturge, mainly with choreographers who draw from social dance forms or work in a cross disciplinary context.
Adapted from bio written in 2017.