East London Dance

Physical Justice Workshops and Discussion

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Jakari Sherman (USA), choreographer and ethnochoreologist rooted in African American tradition of Stepping, and choreographer and dance storyteller Cindy Claes will lead workshops and discussions on the history and practices of Stepping and cultural appropriation in dance.

This collaboration is supported by Artist International Development Fund.

1pm: Step Master Sessions: In Time! | In Step!
Stepping is a percussive movement practice developed by African American college students in the mid 20th century. In this workshop, students will learn traditional and contemporary Stepping styles, rhythmic patterns, and some of the history that is connected to this tradition.

2pm: Taking Stepping and its social and political messages in to the theatre
A fun and practical workshop to explore and discuss taking Stepping in to the theatre. What questions should an artist ask him/herself during the creative process?

3.15pm Discussion: Examining Cultural Appropriation in the Arts
Applying Stepping as a case study, this discussion will explore cultural identity and cultural appropriation in the arts, including questions of authenticity, responsibility, and cultural “rights”. The presentation will include a panel discussion with a diverse group of professional artists and dialogue with the audience.

Jakari Sherman

Jakari Sherman is a choreographer, ethnochoreologist, and performer whose experience extends over 20 years. Rooted in the African American tradition of Stepping and having served as the Artistic Director of Step Afrika!, he has brought new life to the folkloric tradition f stepping and having served as the Artistic Director of Step Afrika!, he has brought new life to the folkloric tradition of stepping locally and across the globe. He seeks to blend performance, research, and community engagement through performative ethnography and applied ethnochoreology. During his tenure, Step Afrika! was awarded for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Innovation in the Arts, and Outstanding New Work.

Jakari is the recipient of several prizes including Metro DC Dance Awards for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and Excellence in Sound Design and Original Composition. Jakari is also Founder of Ordered Steps, a Houston-based nonprofit devoted to teaching stepping as a tool of youth outreach and community development. He is a member of the Congress on Research in Dance and the International Council on Traditional Music.

Cindy Claes

Cindy Claes is a renowned Choreographer, Performer and Dance Story Teller. Born and raised in Belgium, she moved to London in 2005, she tackles social and political issues through dance and theatre. She creates artistic earthquakes with her Dancehall, Krump, and Hip Hop Theatre Productions, telling stories through dance. Her international dance exchanges enable diverse voices to be heard, whilst nurturing leadership within varying street dance communities.

Cindy has choreographed and directed full-length Dance Theatre Productions such as “Voices in the Alleyway”, “School Fi Wifey” and “Is My Whining Winding You Up?”, and has received several awards including: the Lisa Ullman Travelling Scholarship Fund, ADAD Trailblazers 2013-14 and the Bonnie Bird UK New Choreography Fund. Recently, she received the Artist International Development Fund which allowed her to collaborate with Stepping specialist Jakari Sherman, learning about the history of Stepping and exploring how to use this percussive dance form in Theatre.