Breaking loose: How street-dance took on the mainstream and won
Adiaspora Collective by Jenny Gilbert 24/04/2010
Adiaspora is led by Vicki Igbokwe and Alesandra Seutin, both of whom teach dance at degree-level as well as being choreographers. Their two all-female companies have joined forces for Breakin’ Convention.
“Our name stands for African diaspora, as that is the factor linking the dancers and styles we do,” explains Igbokwe. “The forms we draw on are hip-hop, house, contemporary and traditional African dance. We also use vogueing, jazz fusion, punking and whacking – a funk style that started in the 1970s in LA – as well as spoken word. The common factor is the use of the back, the articulation of the spine, which is very distinctive.”
“We’re a women-only group,” says Seutin, “not because we think men would hog the scene, but because our work is very personal. The first time we presented the piece, men came up to us afterwards and said: “Now I understand why I upset my girlfriend!” In our work, you’re seeing very strong, articulate women letting you know: I am not happy right now. We found that women watching really identified with it. There’s no storyline; it’s more a sense of what goes on behind the smiling façade in the everyday life of wives and mothers and working women. It’s tense and dark as each dancer has contributed her experience. There were tears, I can tell you, in the making of it.”
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