Black Digital Dance Revolution

Black Dance Digital Revolution is a nationally significant project working with regional partners; Serendipity (Leicester), Northern School of Contemporary Dance (Leeds), Dance City (Newcastle), Dance Umbrella (London) and beyond.  It draws on the dance heritage of these four cities to develop a programme of digital and physical work including dance films, workshops and artist led residencies.Black Digital Dance Revolution explores how digital technologies can be integrated to push the boundaries of how artistic work is created, documented and shared, building stronger relationships and networks across organisations in the UK dance sector and establishing a living legacy for Black dance.

Initiatives that are a part of Black Digital Dance Revolution include Let’s Dance in the City, a series where dancers responded to the energy of the city to which they are connected.  Beginning in Leicester in 2022, the project encourages dancers to take ownership of public spaces, whether they are structures of power, places to gather or historic landmarks. As the project grows Let’s Dance in the City will continue to draw on the dance and location heritage of other cities across the UK, developing a programme of digital based short films andexploring the gaze of what it means for Black bodies to have a sense of ownership of public spaces.

In October 2022, Black Digital Dance Revolution premiered Siren Calls: To an Illusive Journey.  The film showcases behind-the-scenes footage on the making of the performance commissioned by Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage,composed by Philip Herbert.

The commission sought to unpack how two different choreographic responses embodied the experiences of the Caribbean migration in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.  Monique Jonas and Thomas Prestø responded to this challenge and their choreography encapsulates the strength, tenacity and spirit, whilst recognising the diversity of Caribbean heritage and the unity that the African Caribbean community created when starting a new life in the UK.  The documentary showcases both the energy of different choreographers and spaces, but also the personal stories that have shaped each artist’s contribution to this multifaceted commission.

In 2023, Serendipity will present a new video installation work from Cameron McKinney alongside the world premiere of The Silent Beat: A Haptic Conversation.  Creative Producer, Pawlet Brookes brings together Antoine Hunterand Soweto Kinch in collaborationwith Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage and James Cull, Tracy Harwood and Ruchao Wang of the Instituteof Creative Technologies at De Montfort University to present an experimental work investigating theways in which haptic technology can be used to relay music in new ways and the practical applicationsthis might have for Deaf dancers and choreographers.

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