CALL FOR PAPERS: Re:Generations – Rethinking the past to reimagine the future 6-8 November 2014

Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth BH1 2BU

 Following the highly successful 2012 conference Re: Generations – The Next Generation: Mapping new futures in dance of the African Diaspora the organising team is excited to announce Re: Generations – Rethinking the past to reimagine the future.

 Re:Generations 2014 builds on the success of the last two conferences in 2010 and 2012 which have established a distinctive combination of keynote addresses, panel discussions, papers, performances, and workshops focusing on dance and the African diaspora. The central theme of the third conference is Rethinking the past to reimagine the future. Its starting point is the realisation that dance practices that have significance today are grounded in histories of a range of dance forms and the histories of the dance practitioners and companies that have used and developed them. The better we understand these histories, the more we are able to understand and foster the potential for future developments in African diasporic forms, as well as in forms like ballet and contemporary dance that sometimes themselves owe unacknowledged debts to Africa. The 2014 conference will facilitate discussion and debate about this in order to build a positive future for the development of new dance talent in the UK.

Hosted by Pavilion Dance South West, this conference will be delivered by the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), IRIE! dance theatre and De Montfort University. The conference keynote address will be delivered by Zab Maboungou, Choreographer / Dancer / Director of Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata.

 The conference partners invite proposals for papers, lecture demonstrations and workshops that address the theme of Rethinking the past to reimagine the future. By offering opportunities to reflect on the histories and geographies, and the places and spaces of dance of the African diaspora, it aims both to celebrate the achievements of elders and foster the talent of a new generation of dance practitioners and of new dance scholars.

 The conference partners would particularly welcome proposals on the following subthemes:

  • histories of British-based dancers who are Black
  • evolution of African dance and music forms in the diaspora
  • generational dialogues
  • connecting Dance of the African Diaspora internationally
  • Africa and the Caribbean in British dance
  • pedagogy / education  – new approaches to teaching Dance of the African Diaspora in the FE and HE sector

 The conference partners invite submissions of abstracts of no more than 500 words

for proposals which address any of the above themes as well as other topics related to its central focus on Rethinking the past to reimagine the future. The programme will include 20 minute papers, panel discussions, lecture demonstrations, performances, films, workshops, or other modes of presentation. Lecture demonstrations and workshop should be 25 and 45 minutes long including time for brief Q&A. As in previous years there will also be opportunities for MA students and PhD students at the start of their research to give five minute presentations about their research topics. Please clearly indicate the nature and length of your presentation together with any technical requirements.

 In addition to these opportunities to discuss current issues, ideas and concerns, the conference will also include sessions that share information about different career structures and pathways that are available for dance artists today such as portfolio careers, and new business models for dancers working within the sector. This will be delivered through presentations from arts administrative professionals, independent business professionals/social enterprise and representatives from funding bodies and will be followed by structured networking opportunities for the sharing of information and experience. In line with current trends in cultural policy, there will also be a focus on collaborative partnerships for co-creating the future. And there will be a high level delegation from the US-based International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) who will be able to share diverse, international perspectives on the conference’s key concerns.

 The deadline for submissions is Friday 30th of May 2014. Submissions will be accepted by email only. Please direct emails to, including ‘Re:Generations 2014’ in the subject line.

 About the Re:Generations partners

Established in 1985, IRIE! dance theatre is Britain’s leading dance company working in the field of  African and Caribbean dance fusion and education. The company delivers and sustains a range of creative, educational and artistic activities, based on the stimuli derived from Africa and the Caribbean. IRIE! promotes culture and diversity through training, outreach, performance and partnership. Located in the heart of South East London the company occupies the Moonshot centre, which houses dance studios, teaching rooms & archive and library facilities; where it continues to run and develop accredited qualifications, research programmes, community engagement and professional development for the dance sector.

 The company provides employment, training, support and mentoring for a significant number of young people and professionals working in dance as well as related cultural industries. IRIE!’s collaborations have spanned across the UK and internationally. Current programmes include a partnership with City & Islington College (FE) and London Metropolitan University (HE) delivering a Dance Foundation Degree, where African and Caribbean dance & culture are taught equally alongside ballet and contemporary dance.

 ADAD is a national organisation that supports the practice and appreciation of dance of the African Diaspora. We want dance of the African Diaspora to be visible and valued as part of the British cultural experience. For the past 19 years, ADAD has supported artists through investing in their professional development and raising the profile of their work. ADAD’s flagship programme is Trailblazers, an annual fellowship scheme which has two strands to support UK artists at various stages of their careers, with a bursary and a tailored development programme. The Trailblazers have had an exponential impact on the development of dance of the African Diaspora in the UK, demonstrating leadership, creating new initiatives in performance, education and professional development.

ADAD’s Heritage project, which was created with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund has made a distinctive contribution to collecting, conserving, interpreting and narrating the history and heritage that informs the work of Black dancers in contemporary Britain. It is made up of two components a touring photographic exhibition, ‘Black Dance’ in Britain: 1930s-1990s – Moments, and a book, Voicing Black Dance: 1930’s to 1990’s – The British Experience. Launched in October 2006 the exhibition has toured to London, Leicester, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds, and continues to tour nationally and internationally.

ADAD extended its national reach through a concentrated programme of work in The North and South West regions.

The Bloom Tour and Festival tours nationally to celebrate and showcase artists working within the African Diaspora art forms.

 Pavilion Dance South West is a dance development organisation of national significance. It operates one of England’s five purpose built small scale dance houses and makes a strategic difference to the sector’s quality, engagement and sustainability.

De Montfort University has an international reputation for the quality of its research in dance history and theory, pedagogy, and performance-based research. It is has been offering degrees in dance since the late 1970s when it was Leicester Polytechnic. During the 1980s, the Black Dance Development Trust held its first Black Dance Summer School at Leicester Polytechnic. In 2007, it held the Black Britons and Dance conference with Professor Brenda Dixon Gottschild as keynote speaker on her first visit to a British university. From 2012 and 2014 the AHRC-funded research project British Dance and the African Diaspora run by Christy Adair and Ramsay Burt was based at De Montfort with ADAD as a project partner. Highlights of this project include the exhibition British dance: Black routes curated at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool as well as public events in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and the Royal Festival Hall in London.