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The conference for Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2024 explores the theme of Camouflage: Embodied Dance. This annual gathering of artists, activists and practitioners has established a growing reputation as a leading voice and home for Black dance.

Camouflage: Embodied Dance’s foundations are rooted in the work of Black theorists from Édouard Glissant’s “right to opacity”, through to the paradox of the invisibility/hyper-visibility of Black women discussed by bell hooks and others. Camouflage is synonymous with Black survival, taking different forms across the Diaspora. The conference contributors will each reflect on the way that they explore camouflage in their own practice, ultimately tackling issues of the Black performing body, the histories embodied within and the transformation of dance artists in order to share these stories.

Contributors include:

nora chipaumire

nora chipaumire is a four-time Bessie Award winner and recipient of the 2016 Trisha Mckenzie Memorial Award for her impact on the dance community in Zimbabwe. She was also nominated for a NAMA award in 2020 for exiled Zimbabweans. chipaumire’s latest work is NEHANDA, a large-scale opera and prior to this she toured #PUNK100% POP*NIGGA, a three-part live performance album.

Her other live works include portrait of myself as my father (2016) and RITE RIOT (2012). She recently released a Radio Opera (2021), and has been featured in several dance films, making her
directorial debut with the short film Afro Promo #1 King Lady (2016). Her long-term research project nhaka, a technology-based practice and process to her artistic work, instigates and investigates the nature of Black bodies and the products of their imaginations.

Yinka Esi Graves

Yinka Esi Graves is a British Flamenco dancer and practitioner whose choreographic work explores the links between flamenco and other forms of corporeal expression from an African Diasporic and contemporary perspective.

Having studied ballet and AfroCuban dancing in her youth, she has dedicated over a decade to flamenco, studying at Amor de Dios in Madrid and later in Seville with artists such as La Lupi, Andrés Marin, Yolanda Heredia and Juana Amaya. Her choreographic work and unique way of working in and around flamenco has been featured at Sadler’s Wells (Sampled 2017), Dance Umbrella’s Out of the System, Gibney Dance NY amongst others, reaching audiences nationally and internationally, often taking flamenco into new spaces.

Tyrone Isaac-Stuart

Emerging artist Tyrone Isaac-Stuart is a soloist, musician, conceptualist, collaborator and choreographer. He studied Jazz saxophone at Middlesex University and the University of New Orleans and developed further as a dancer while performing for East London’s finest: Boy Blue Entertainment.

He has participated in projects at Sadler’s Wells (Back to the Lab), East London Dance (Cindy Claes, 1000 Pieces Puzzle, Hofesh Shechter: East Wall), Redbridge Drama Centre (Artists 4 Artists) and The Place (Resolution). He has worked with Jonzi D, Soweto Kinch, Joseph Toonga and Botis Seva and regularly performs with Boy Blue Entertainment and Foreign Bodies Orchestra (Sean Graham).

Carole Y Johnson

Carole Y Johnson is a founding member of the Association of Black Choreographers (ABC), established New York City’s Dancemobile, and was founder and editor of the dance theatre magazine Feet, the first news publication devoted primarily to dance of and by African American peoples. Johnson first went to Australia in 1972 as a principal dancer with the Eleo Pomare Dance Company.

Arriving at a time of political ferment she began the first modern dance workshop with Indigenous Australians before supporting the workshop members to present a dance of protest at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy Demonstration in Canberra. Her vision was carried forth through building the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association’s school, known as NAISDA Dance College, and establishing Bangarra Dance Theatre in 1989.


Makini is a choreographer, performer and video artist. Trained in Umfundalai, Kariamu Welsh’s contemporary African dance technique, he has worked with Irene Dowd focusing on anatomy
and proprioception and a J-sette performance with Jermone Donte Beacham.

In 2008, Makini cofounded idiosyn Crazy productions and co-directed it with Shannon Murphy. Makini has performed with Marianela Boán, Silvana Cardell, devynn emory, Emmanuelle Hunyh, Tania Isaac, Kun-Yang Lin, C. Kemal Nance, Ligia Lewis, Marissa Perel, Leah Stein, Keith Thompson, Kate Watson-Wallace, Merián Soto, Reggie Wilson, Jesse Zaritt, and Kariamu Wels. Makini has received various awards including: Live Arts Brewery Fellowship, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Fellowship, NRW Tanzrecherche Fellowship, New York Live Arts Studio Series and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Peter Badejo

Peter Badejo OBE is one of Nigeria’s foremost choreographers, dancers and African performance specialists. His presence in Britain, the founding of Badejo Arts in 1990 and the establishment of the annual summer school, Bami Jo, have made a significant impact on artistic practice in the UK. Badejo has appeared in major dramas such as Cambridge University’s Eshu’s Faust and Phyllida Lloyd’s productions of Medea and Death and the King’s Horseman. He has collaborated with Adzido, Kokuma (History of the Drum and Awakening), Irie (Agbara), Sakofa dance theatre, H Patten, The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, Cambridge Arts Theatre and Pan Project.

As a teacher, Badejo has conducted residencies and workshop programmes throughout the UK for organisations such as the International Workshop Festival, London Contemporary Dance School,
The Birmingham Summer School and WOMAD. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 in recognition of his work with, and commitment to, African dance.

Marlon D Simms

Marlon D Simms was appointed Artistic Director of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica in 2018. Prior to his appointment he served as the Associate Artistic Director for four years (2014-2017). He also held the post of Dance Captain for five years (2009-2013), after being appointed by co-founder and past artistic director, Rex Nettleford. Simms has travelled and performed extensively with the company and as a solo performance artist to England, Canada, USA, the Caribbean and South America. Between performing and directing the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, he co-produces the company’s journal and oversees the trainee programme and educational work. He is also the current Dean of the school of dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

Andrea E Woods Valdés

Andrea E Woods Valdés is the Artistic Director of SOULOWORKS/Andrea E Woods and Dancers. Woods Valdés is also an associate professor at Duke University and a former director of Duke in Ghana summer study 2012-2014. She received her PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University with a research focus on embodied Black aesthetics, Black women choreographers, and spirit. A native of Philadelphia, Woods began her dance training with Jean Williams at Germantown Dance Theater. After graduating magna cum laude from Adelphi University, she danced with Clive Thompson, Mafata, Leni Wylliams and Saeko Icinohe. Woods Valdés is a former dancer and rehearsal director of Bill T Jones /Arnie Zane Dance Co. (1989-1995).

*Early Bird available until 29 February 2024, subject to availability.


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30 April
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
£70.00 – £80.00
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Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage
0116 482 1394
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4 Midland Street
Leicester, LE1 1TG United Kingdom
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0116 242 2800
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