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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Introducing African Diaspora Performance

Wed. 1 July 2020 — Wed. 22 July 2020


Join Utopia Theatre and Patrice Naiambana for a four-part workshop looking at African diaspora performance.

Patrice Naiambana is an award winning African-Performing Artist/Animateur Sierra Leonean-Bermudan. Current projects include facilitating a lab space, The Decolonial Salon; a digital performance piece on migration and exile entitled Perception Gap and Fresh Conversations for Diversity in the NHS. He has been facilitating diaspora performance, post-colonial literacy, theatre process and training for over 25 years. He initiated Tribal Soul – a diaspora learning and creating space, in 1991. He uses the story space to put ‘flesh on silences’ whilst developing community collaborations, craft, critical thinking and leadership skills. His performing experience credentials include Barbershop Chronicles; New Nigerians; Coriolanus among many others.

The modules:

1 July 11am–12:30pm – Introducing African Diaspora Performance – Creating Solo Performance
Naiambana uses examples from The Man Who Committed Thought (Fringe First Award winning solo performance, five characters). With props, live action and edited clips from archive performances. Q&A moderated by Kehinde Bankole.

8 July 2–3:30pm – African Traditional Dance Drama
Exploring traditional dance drama as a rich resource for diaspora performance training and story-making. Creating characters from the body’s possibilities. Gesture in the African imaginary. Illustrating from The Man Who Committed Thought. Q&A moderated by Tchiyiwe Chihana.

15 July 2–4pm – 'Othello, What is the MATTER With You?' Memory / Diaspora Consciousness and Social Action
Patrice has spent 10 years facilitating The Gospel of Othello in 6 countries. Using a hothausing lab process propelled by an arts for life’s sake perspective, he facilitates questions seeking practical engagement with how we wish to live. What do Othello’s Countrymen make of Othello’s tragedy? We find out the exiled Othello is not his real name. Using documentation from this journey we share and invite valuable insights from participants. African aesthetics and aesthesis in story-making. Developing ensembles for community flourishing. Making visible the African diaspora canon. Culturepreneurship – the way forward?

22 July 2–3:30pm – What Does Shakespeare, The Bible And A Cow Have In Common?
The Man Who Committed Thought is a highly physical and literate solo show, set in postcolonial Lion Mountain. A determined peasant seeks justice after having his cow eaten by the dictator of the land, President Janta. An initially indifferent Anglicised African lawyer, much given to quoting Shakespeare and the Western Canon, is forced to commit thought about his own personal responsibility for the state of his country. Patrice’s darkly humorous performance approach is inspired by the West African Griot. This session will explore: 1. Creating and Learning from Ancestral Memory. 2. When was your earliest recollection of Committing Thought?

Workshops and masterclasses in Utopia Theatre’s Creative Hub are for people of African origin aged 16 and above.

Click here to book your place.

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