History of ADAD
The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD) was founded in 1994 as an unincorporated association. Initially, the organisation was run by a Steering Committee of artists with one part-time worker. The founding members, an ever changing group of professional dancers, assembled periodically, in a series of open meetings, to explore issues concerning African Peoples' Dance or Black Dance. In this early period the strap line of the organisation was 'from margins to mainstream'. The pivot of ADAD's early work was its quarterly newsletter which offered listings, articles and information of relevance to a Black dance community. The newsletter created visibility for the sector and functioned as a rallying point.
ADAD achievements 1994 - 2005:
- A series of professional workshops with local and international dance artists, including Bill T Jones, Koffi Koko, Urban Bush Women, Peter Badejo and Jonzi D
- A programme of choreographic platforms showcasing the work of Black artists, providing career enhancement and raising the profile of the sector.
- The publication - launch of 'Articles and Interviews - Black Dance in the UK' 2000.
- A programme of talks given by established dance professionals, allowing the sector to increase its knowledge and skills, and to create connections with the mainstream.
- The 'H' Patten lecture - centre piece of a network day for members focusing on Caribbean dance for dance teachers.
- The Black dance education road show which gave a number of educational establishments an opportunity to discuss what is to be done about the under-representation of Black dance in the existing curriculum.
- A workshop scheme for dance writers, conducted by 'Funmi Adewole with Colin Prescod as mentor - addressing development of a critical tradition in support of African Peoples' Dance in Britain.
2011: in partnership with East London Dance and Ochee design ADAD launched The Agile Leaders Challenge, a bespoke professional development programme for dance and creative media professionals.
The second Bloom Festival of dance of the African Diaspora was hosted by ADAD at Circomedia, Bristol, in the spring; at Phoenix Dance Theatre/Northern Ballet, Leeds, in the summer; and in autumn at the Southbank Centre in London.
2010: With the support of Arts Council Yorkshire, ADAD North was established. Based at Phoenix Dance Theatre in Leeds, this initiative will extend the reach of ADAD’s work through a bespoke programme of activities, including a tour of the Black Dance in Britain exhibition.
Throughout 2010, ADAD is working in partnership with IRIE! dance theatre, State of Emergency productions and London Metropolitan University to deliver Re:Generations, an International conference focused on shaping the future of dance of the African Diaspora. The conference will take place in November 2010 and the papers will be published in Spring 2011. 2009: ADAD hosted the first Bloom Festival of dance of the African Diaspora at Southbank Centre in London, a two day celebration including performance, talks, film and open workshops.
2008: ADAD launched Open Stage, a regular platform for new choreography delivered in collaboration with a range of partners including East London Dance, Independent Dance, IRIE! dance theatre and Feedback 33 at London Studio Centre.
2007: ADAD published a book, Voicing Black Dance: The British Experience " 1930s to 1990s, to complement the exhibition. The book is available for purchase from ADAD’s website.
2006: supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, ADAD mounted an historic photographic exhibition entitled ‘Black’ Dance in Britiain:1930s to 1990s " Moments. The exhibition has toured to London, Leicester, Birmingham and Bristol.