The nights may be drawing in and the weather getting cooler but London’s dance world is about to get hot, hot, hot in the next few days. For the 8th time Afro Dance Xplosion arrives in the British capital courtesy of Feel the Rhythm Productions. With a nine-strong ensemble featuring some of today’s more outstanding performers and specialists of the African dance diaspora, this is a not-to-be-missed event.
Variety is the key word when describing both the dance workshops and the mixed-bill shows the public will be able to enjoy over the weekend of 28th to 30th September. From Horton technique-master David Blake to hip-hop doyen Ajani Johnson-Goffe, Feel the Rhythm Productions has put together an ambitious programme that highlights how this art form has developed in the Caribbean, USA, Africa and the UK.
A good example of this much-welcomed variety is ex-Jazzxchange choreographer and creative engine behind Body of People (BOP), Dollie Henry. With a performing and dance-teaching career spanning three decades, Dollie’s input and experience will surely be appreciated by those attending Afro Dance Xplosion 2018’s showcase. Another act to watch is the US-based and African-Diasporan-male-focused Berry and Nance Dance Project. Their use of contemporary and traditional African dance styles to tell culturally- and politically-charged stories about manhood promises to be one of the talking points over the weekend.
In the polarising times we live now, it is refreshing to see an organisation like Feel the Rhythm Productions be bold and risk-taking. Afro Dance Xplosion 2018 boasts nuance above all; precisely what we are most in need of nowadays. And the fact that it arrives as the nights draw in is no coincidence. After all, a common feature of the British autumn is cool nights and mild days. Nuanced and varied like Afro Dance Xplosion 2018.