During Nov-Dec 2017 Creative Director Johnny Autin and visual artist Donata Kukytė travelled to Tanzania. We held a professional audition process both in Dar and in Arusha to select the dancers for the work, the musicians, and the setup of the live performance towards a showcase event. During both residencies, Johnny delivered a series of CPD workshops and career/professional development talks for the dancers (portfolio career, mentoring, feedback, etc.) and opened the morning company classes to all local professional dancers free of charge, as a way of delivering regular professional training, and also to the dancers that were not selected as part of the commissioned project.
Johnny choreographed ‘La folie des passions’ over a 10-day residency at Nafasi Arts Space with 12 dancers and 2 accompanying live musicians. The piece features various movement styles inspired by both Eastern contemporary dance techniques and traditional African dances with a strong emphasis on ‘Singeli’ steps (African urban dance). While in Dar, Johnny curated a whole evening of work at Alliance Française on Tues 28 Nov featuring live music, short performances from the dancers, the premiere of ‘La folie des passions’ to a live audience of 130 and post show discussion.
Johnny collaborated with the live musicians on the composition of the score for the piece during the residency, and worked closely with Muda’s Artistic Director, Ian Mwaisunga on learning, researching and devising choreography in traditional African dances.
In 2019 Johnny was invited back to Tanzania by Muda Africa to create a brand new short work of contemporary/afro-fusion dance on its company of professional dancers, to be toured in East Africa, alongside the presentation of outdoor duet ‘Dystopia’ with performer Laura Vanhulle at several festivals
Founder & Creative Director Batalo East :
Artistic Director Muda Africa:
Artistic Director Ibuka Dance: