Rethinking the past to reimagine the future
Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth
(Please see the Programme at the bottom of this page)
Following the highly successful 2012 conference Re: Generations - The Next Generation: Mapping new futures in dance of the African Diaspora the organising team presented Re: Generations - Rethinking the past to reimagine the future.
Re:Generations 2014 built on the success of the previous two conferences in 2010 and 2012 which established a distinctive combination of keynote addresses, panel discussions, papers, performances, and workshops focusing on dance and the African diaspora. The central theme of the third conference was Rethinking the past to reimagine the future. Its starting point was the realisation that dance practices that have significance today are grounded in histories of a range of dance forms and the histories of the dance practitioners and companies that have used and developed them. The better we understand these histories, the more we are able to understand and foster the potential for future developments in African diasporic forms, as well as in forms like ballet and contemporary dance that sometimes themselves owe unacknowledged debts to Africa. The 2014 conference facilitated discussion and debate about this in order to build a positive future for the development of new dance talent in the UK.
Hosted by Pavilion Dance South West, this conference was delivered by the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), IRIE! dance theatre and De Montfort University. The conference keynote address was delivered by Zab Maboungou, Choreographer / Dancer / Director of Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata and Sharon Watson, Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre.
In addition to these opportunities to discuss current issues, ideas and concerns, the conference also included sessions that shared information about different career structures and pathways that are available for dance artists today such as portfolio careers, and new business models for dancers working within the sector. This was delivered through presentations from arts administrative professionals, independent business professionals/social enterprise and representatives from funding bodies and was followed by structured networking opportunities for the sharing of information and experience. In line with current trends in cultural policy, there was also a focus on collaborative partnerships for co-creating the future. And there was a high level delegation from the US-based International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) who were able to share American perspectives on the conference’s key concerns.
About the Re:Generations partners
Established in 1985, IRIE! dance theatre is Britain’s leading dance company working in the field of African and Caribbean dance fusion and education. The company provides employment, training, support and mentoring for a significant number of young people and professionals working in dance as well as related cultural industries.
Pavilion Dance South West is a dance development organisation of national significance. It operates one of England’s five purpose built small scale dance houses and makes a strategic difference to the sector’s quality, engagement and sustainability.
De Montfort University has an international reputation for the quality of its research in dance history and theory, pedagogy, and performance-based research. It is has been offering degrees in dance since the late 1970s when it was Leicester Polytechnic. During the 1980s, the Black Dance Development Trust held its first Black Dance Summer School at Leicester Polytechnic. In 2007, it held the Black Britons and Dance conference with Professor Brenda Dixon Gottschild as keynote speaker on her first visit to a British university.
ADAD is a national organisation that supports the practice and appreciation of dance of the African Diaspora. We want dance of the African Diaspora to be visible and valued as part of the British cultural experience. For the past 21 years, ADAD has supported artists through investing in their professional development and raising the profile of their work.