Black dance to get a voice at Leicester international festival

Published: 17 February 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Coral Dolphin of Evidence Dance Company Credit: Ayodele Casel

Black Dance: A Contemporary Voice is the theme of the 2019 Let’s Dance International Frontiers festival in Leicester.

It will showcase new work from emerging talent as well as from internationally acclaimed performers and companies.

Artistic director Pawlet Brookes of Serendipity, the arts producing organisation based in Leicester, said, “this year’s theme, Black Dance: A Contemporary Voice, is about recognising and celebrating how dance from the African and African-Caribbean diaspora has shaped, influenced and informed contemporary dance practice and what this means to the international dance community.

“We’re delighted to present New York-based Ronald K Brown / Evidence in their LDIF and Leicester debut. Ronald K Brown is a trailblazing African American choreographer behind many popular works for Alvin Ailey and his own company Evidence. Evidence will present a triple bill: Torch, a tribute to Ron's friend Beth Young, Come Ye, set to the music of Nina Simone and Fela Kuti, and the popular Four Corners, part of the Ailey repertoire.”

Artists appearing at LDIF19 include Ayikodans from Haiti, led by choreographer Jeanguy Saintus who will be presenting a new commission, Reflections; the USA’s leading deaf / dance company, Urban Jazz Dance Company, led by Antoine Hunter; and Norwegian dance company Tabanka, founded and led by Thomas Talawa Presto.

British artists include choreographer / creative director Kwesi Johnson, pioneer of hip-hop theatre and founder of Kompany Malakhi; British / Japanese choreographer / dancer Mistato Shimizu whose Fly has been developed in partnership with Serendipity; and Alesandra Seutin.

The festival will be held at various venues between Monday 29 April and Saturday 11 May. The full programme is available at the Let’s Dance International Frontiers web site.

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