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ACE dance and music run a number of innovative projects each year, building community involvement and promoting development opportunities for dancers and choreographers in the field of Contemporary African and Caribbean Dance.
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:
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.”
ACE Youth are at the forefront of excellence in European Youth Dance, and alongside ‘Virevolte’ (Switzerland), ‘Untold’ (Holland) and ‘Les Ballets St Étienne’ (France) are part of a fledgling European Youth Dance Network: Dance=Desir. They represent innovative, creative youth development both regionally, nationally and now increasingly internationally undertaking regular exchanges with young people from different countries.
ACE dance and music launch Cultural Spring 2019– a new, accessible outreach programme targeting schools and communities in North Birmingham.
Building on the success of the DIANNA project delivered by ACE in schools and at Pannel Croft Retirement Village across 2017/18, ACE are developing their next phase of outreach work by launching Cultural Spring.
This work aims to extend ACE’s outreach work to young people and families in North Birmingham by engaging them in a new programme of activities including drumming, ACE’s unique afro-fusion and urban dance styles and much more…
Working in partnership with The Black Arts Forum, Cultural Spring kicks off with drumming sessions on 3rd June 2019. For more details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our DIANNA project featured work at Pannel Croft (over 55’s) Retirement Village throughout 2017. We focused on working with residents and used dance as a means to encourage the over 50s to get active and to improve their health and well-being. As well as the dance workshops, costume making sessions were also popular, encouraging residents to improve dexterity and hand/eye coordination and the skills to plan and create their own designs. Growing through word of mouth, the project extended to involve the wider community; visitors, people living in the local vicinity and neighbourhoods, family and friends.
Contact us to book a workshop or to find out more information.