This year, we've commissioned a series of dance companies to create new pieces inspired by our African collections for our African Summer events.
Following a public call out earlier this year, five companies were selected in April. They have worked over the past 3 months composing these pieces.
We also organised training for the artists to tell them more about our collections and how they can incorporate objects into their work.
Here is an insight into two of our new commissions which are going to be seen for the first time at our African Late event next week.
Vocab Dance Company
Performer and choreographer Alesandra Seutin has been running Vocab Dance Company since 2007. She combines African traditional dance with contemporary dance and Hip Hop to create distinctly Afro-European dance.
For her piece, Alesandra wants to explore a traditional Ghanaian ceremony called Dipo from the Krobo ethnic group. It's a rite of passage into womanhood that is celebrated with dance, challenges, ornaments/beads and music.
Alesandra will create a physical, sonic and visual response of this event celebrating young girls becoming women .
N’da Dance Company
Originally from Ugie, South Africa, Mbulelo Ndabeni is a dancer, choreographer and director of N'da Dance Company.
Along with Barcelona-born Estela Merlos, Mbulelo has created a stunning dance piece called vUka exploring identity and the need to fit within society with attachment and detachment shaping the piece.
The two commissions by Vocab Dance Company and N’da Dance Company will be showcased at the African Late next Thursday, 6 August.
This night of contemporary performances will include atmospheric live music, stunning circus performances, films and by young African filmmakers, colourful stories in the galleries and more. Get your tickets now.