A Dialogue With Masters is a podcast by Serendipity. From emerging artists to legendary figures, this podcast gives voice to the African and Caribbean Diaspora. In each episode, Pawlet Brookes, CEO and Artistic Director of Serendipity, speaks to pioneering Black dancers, artists, choreographers, activists, academics and leaders within the arts and heritage sector.
SEASON 2 – EPISODE 7: MENTORING AND MENTORSHIP WITH JOSPEH TOONGA
In the first episode of our series focused on creating socially engaged art, Pawlet Brookes talks with dancer, choreographer, and Director of Just Us Dance Theatre, Joseph Toonga. Joseph’s work explores themes around Blackness, tenderness, and vulnerability in masculinity. He and Pawlet discuss his latest works “Born to Manifest” and “Born to Protest,” his own journey with layered identity, and his thoughts on visibility, platform-creation, mentorship, empowerment, and cultural identity.
SEASON 1 – EPISODE 6: WHERE ARE WE NOW? WHY ARE WE HERE? WHERE WILL WE BE? WITH PROFESSOR STEPHEN SMALL
Stephen Small is a Professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Stephen was born and raised in Liverpool and is a child of the Windrush generation, and in this conversation with Pawlet Brookes, he discusses growing up with a Black father and white mother in Liverpool, institutional racism, the long long history of people of Black people in Britain, the Windrush scandal, and more.
SEASON 1 – EPISODE 5: ARTS AT THE INTERSECTION WITH ALICE SHEPPARD
Alice Sheppard was recently disabled and about to get tenure as a professor of medieval studies when she saw a dance performance by a disabled artist that changed her life. The dancer dared her to take a dance class, and she never looked back. In this episode, Alice talks more about her story, her philosophy of artistic creation, and her work.
SEASON 1 – EPISODE 4: FINDING YOUR VOICE WITH IVAN BLACKSTOCK
Are we in the age of the multi-disciplinary artist? Ivan Blackstock thinks so. Ivan Blackstock is a multifaceted artist with a passion for choreography and street culture. He is the artistic director of CRXSS PLATFXRM, an arts organisation focused on multi-disciplinary collaboration and community. In this wide-ranging conversation, Ivan delves into his creation process, his mental health journey, and his belief in the importance of cross-pollination.
SEASON 1 – Episode 3: Dance and Identity with Akeim Toussaint Buck
Akeim Toussaint Buck is an interdisciplinary performer and maker who works across dance, song, and spoken word. His work looks at identity and diversity in Britain and how an individual can navigate questions of layered identity. In this episode, Akeim discusses the thinking behind his latest work, Windows of Displacement, a piece that draws on contexts of imperialism and colonialism to create a story of the past, present, and future of humanity.
SEASON 1 – Episode 2: Being a Black British Flamenco dancer with Yinka Esi Graves
Yinka Esi Graves is a Black-British Flamenco dancer living and working in Seville. In one sense, Yinka brings the influences of the African diaspora to Spain and Flamenco, but in another, she is accessing an influence and connection that already exists. In this episode, we discuss the hidden African history in Flamenco and Yinka’s new work, The Disappearing Act, which investigates questions of visibility and presence.
SEASON 1 – Episode 1: Codifying Black Dance with Thomas Prestø
Thomas Prestø is a choreographer, the founder and artistic director of Tabanka Dance Ensemble in Oslo, Norway, and the creator of Talawa Technique. Talawa Technique is a method of codifying African Caribbean dance styles. In this episode, Pawlet Brookes speaks to Thomas about his groundbreaking work in notation around Black dance and the challenges and successes of Tabanka Dance Ensemble.
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Image Description: text reads ‘Serendipity, A Dialogue with Masters.’ Nora Chipaumire appears in profile facing the left, illuminated by a pink light she raises a microphone to her mouth with her left hand and her right hand raised, palm extended upwards. Nora’s expression is one of defiance.
Image Credit: Nora Chipaumire in 100% Pop at Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2018. Photograph by Stuart Hollis.