Black Choreographic Project

For 2018/19 ACE have created an exciting opportunity for two Black Choreographers to join a pilot development programme funded by Dance Hub Birmingham and bursaries from Arts Council England. The first two artists to join us for the pilot year of Navigate are Nii Kwartey Owoo, a talented contemporary choreographer and musician based in Leeds and Paul ‘Steady’ Steadman, founder of the leading Bboy crew ‘Trinity Warriors’ and a leading educator, performer and choreographer in this style in the UK.

The programme aims to encourage emerging choreographers whose work has not yet been presented on a professional stage and Navigate participants are selected from applicant’s who are passionate about choreography and actively making work. It is a twelve-month structured development programme providing a bursary for each artist, meaning that they can concentrate on developing their practise. In addition to this, they also have access to a professional mentor drawn from a pool of national and international artists and an induction weekend giving time for reflection on their aspirations and artistic identity. There are four residencies over the year to include:

  • Masterclasses with national and international guest choreographers.
  • Chance to choreograph on professional dancer(s).
  • Dedicated time with design and production specialists working with ACE.
  • Potential for showcasing your work professionally.
  • Time at ACE observing/shadowing all the functions of a touring company.
  • Regular connections with regionally based artists.


Nii Kwartey Owoo is a choreographer and musician based in Leeds and Creative Associate at The Geraldine Connor Foundation. Nii has been creating contemporary choreography since he was eighteen, inspired by traditional cultural practices found in West Africa and the diaspora. Originally from Accra, Ghana, Nii draws on his Ga heritage, including spiritual beliefs, storytelling and symbolism, creating original choreography that blends tradition with current global dance styles. Nii incorporates his knowledge of West African music in his work, recording traditional rhythms, sampling sounds he finds and using live music as part of his performances.

Nii stated “As a young black choreographer, the Navigate project from ACE, the national and international leader in the field of contemporary and diasporic dance, will​ open doors for me to develop my practice with industry leading choreographers and to further learn from professional mentors and production teams.”

Founder of leading Bboy crew ‘Trinity Warriors’, Steady is one of the most sought out educators, performers and choreographers in this style in the UK. His education and dance teaching is rooted in history and consciousness, whilst remaining fresh, creative and inspirational for the next generation. He has an extensive background in Hip Hop, but fell in love with contemporary dance four years ago.

For Steady “The opportunity to take part in the Navigate programme, will allow me to discover something new about myself and realise fresh ways of working, collaborating with different genres/people/artists, all of which are huge passions of mine.”