News & Blogs

21 April 2016
Author: The Place

#TrailbazersThursday: spotlight on Rachael Nanyonjo

Every Thursday until the 12 May, we’ll bring you a blog post about New Shoots; a showcase of new choreography by Trailblazers starters by the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora co-curated by Freddie Opoku-Addaie.

To find out more about the showcase please click here.

Spotlight on Rachael Nanyonjo

Could you tell us a bit about your documentary and your work? 
The Trailblazer fellowship has supported the second stage of a research, development and documentation project I began last year in Uganda Kampala supported by Arts Council England and the British Council. I went to Uganda on the artists international development fund awarded to me by the British Council. I was there for a month and my host company was Tabuflo an international Hip Hop company. Upon returning I began developing a documentary that I plan to distribute and share so that artists and the public can experience and begin to gain an understanding of the culture, expression and meanings within traditional and current dances.

To understand Ugandan dances you must understand culture and politics are synonymous; one cannot exist without the other.

Unlabelled, my documentary, explores the transforming identity of dance in Uganda looking at the form, politics and disavowal of the culture.

I felt that it was important to create a resource that allowed dance artists to talk about form and their experience of dance in an authentic way.

Read more about Rachael’s first stage work in Uganda (through the British Council) 

What does working with One Dance UK mean to you? 
One Dance UK is a voice for a genre and artists who at times can be overlooked or misunderstood within our sector. I  am excited and grateful to have been selected as an One Dance UK Trailblazer. I have been taught and inspired by many past trailblazers and hope that I can use this opportunity to do the same for other artists. One Dance UK is a great organisation and I look forward to working with them, learning, growing and contributing to the sector. 

About Rachael Nanyonjo
Rachael graduated from Roehampton University with a BA Honors in Dance Studies and formed Kansaze Dance Theatre in 2011 to create innovative contemporary dance physical theatre that responds to socio-cultural and political themes through collaborating with different art forms. Rachael works as a choreographer, teacher, movement director and assistant director. She has worked with the Young Vic, National Theatre, East London Dance, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Big Dance, BBC (working titles films), Sky Arts and is a visiting lecturer teaching choreography at Middlesex University. Rachael gained a Masters in choreography from Middlesex University 2012, and is a 2015 British Council and Arts Council England international development fund recipient to undertake a research, development and documentation project with Ugandan-based Tabu Flo Dance Company.

Commissions include Dance East HOST Festival 2016, Ballet Boys Ignition Festival 2014 & Roehampton University Third Row Dance Company 2013. Achievements include a recipient of Dance UK’s Mentoring Programme 2013/14 & London Hub’s ‘Pitch It!’ bursary 2013.

Shortlists include: Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Choreographic Award & Choreographic Captures (2011).


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