Healing The Static; Orbiting The Sonic
Click here for a link to the conversation
Listen in on a free-flowing conversation between dance artists Seke Chimutengwende and Alexandrina Hemsley, and composer/ sound designer Xana as they discuss where they are at in autumn 2020. They reflect on ancestry, archive, accessibility, anti-racist politics and their current individual and collective practices in the midst of creating an online, audio version of the stage show Black Holes (2018). Written, choreographed and performed by Alexandrina and Seke, Black Holes weaves together poetic text and movement, to retell the history of the universe from the big bang through to the universe’s death.
Speculating on how to be with their bodies that carry histories of marginalisation and anti-blackness, Seke and Alexandrina combine elements of Science Fiction, and personal narrative to propel the personal and the mythic onto a cosmic scale. Xana created the original sound design for Black Holes and is working on the sound design for the 2020 audio version of the show.
Alexandrina Hemsley has recently founded her own organisation Yewande 103. This formalises the past 10+ years of Creative Director Alexandrina Hemsley’s work in the contemporary dance field as a choreographer, performer, writer, mentor and facilitator. Hemsley’s practice is shaped by the morphing disciplines of dance, dance for camera, live art, theatre, mentoring, creative and critical writing. Driven by an interest in fracturing, connectivity, displacement & emotionality, they hope to find and share ways of expressing felt, lived realities.
They work with intricate improvisation scores and vivid performance environments which insist on conjuring embodied enquiries into a multiplicity of voices. This includes work within organisations around anti-racism, anti-ableism and embodied advocacy. It is a life long, nuanced undertaking. Alexandrina is Associate Artist at Cambridge Junction, Board Member of Chisenhale Dance Space and International Associate Artist 2020/21 at Dance Ireland.
Seke Chimutengwende is a choreographer, performer, movement director and teacher. He has performed for companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre and Lost Dog and has performed solo and group improvisations internationally since 2006. His choreographies include The Time Travel Piece which was a semi-finalist for The Place Prize 2012 and Black Holes, made in collaboration with Alexandrina Hemsley, which was selected for The British Council Showcase in Edinburgh 2019. Seke is currently researching a new group choreography looking at ghosts and haunted houses as a metaphor for how histories of slavery and colonialism haunt the present. Seke has also worked as a movement director for theatre productions at The Yard, Battersea Arts Centre and The Gate Theatre, and currently teaches improvisation at The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, London Contemporary Dance School and East 15 Acting School.
Xana is a sound designer/artist, live loop musician, composer, performer, theatre maker and poet whose works intersect with theatre, film, live performance and tech. Xana’s creative work focuses on archives and embodying our future narratives and memories through sci-fi, magical realism and blending their genre's orchestral noise/thick bass. Xana's debut show Swallowing Your Idols is being created at Ovalhouse Theatre, where they are an Associate Artist. Xana is co-organiser of Afrotech Fest, publishes the children's comic Afronaut Squad and was a 2020 Offie-finalist for Best Sound Design.
Theatre credits: Chicken Burger and Chips (Brockley Jack Theatre), The Body Remembers (Fuel Theatre); Ivan and the Dogs, Fairview (Young Vic); Strange Fruit (Bush Theatre); Grey, Just Another Day and Night (Ovalhouse); Nightclubbing (Tour); Pink Lemonade (Gate Theatre); Mapping Brent Festival, Blood Knot (Orange Tree Theatre); SEX SEX MEN MEN (Pecs Drag Kings/Yard Theatre); Noughts and Crosses (Pilot/Derby Theatre); Burgerz (Hackney Showroom); Obama and Me (Talawa); Black Holes (The Place); Hive City Legacy (Roundhouse); seeds, Half-breed (Soho Theatre) Primetime (Royal Court Theatre).
Writer/Actor credits: Swallowing Your Idols (Ovalhouse); Asian Pirate Musical (Vaults)
Dates & Times
Friday 06 November, 20206:00pm
Time Codes and References
‘Chapters’ of the conversation:
expansive solidarities (7m35s)
speculating a world for ourselves (23m23s)
time is multitudes (27m14s)
to become a vibrational sound designer (50m26s)
longevity, legacy, representation (59m00s)
manifesting the future: sci fi and horror (1h07m56s)
MP Kemi Badenoch speech on politics in education and BLM (20 October 2020): https://www.independent.co.uk/…ck-lives-matter-b1189547.html
Parable of the Sower (1993) by Octavia Butler
Black Leopard Red Wolf (2019) by Marlon James
The Famished Road (1991) by Ben Okri
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010) by N.K. Jemisin
Children of Blood and Bone (2018) by Tomi Adeyemi
Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger (2020) by Lama Rod Owens