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.
Could you tell us a bit about your project OTHER?
Mixed raced people sometimes feel like they do not belong, have no place of defined origin and at times have to pick an inferior skin colour and culture. Growing up in Sweden I often got subjected to many racist incidents, reminded that I was of a different race and grew to hate the skin I was in.
After moving to England I got a different type of attention, when I suddenly became the sexy exotic light skin and told that I had the good hair and bullied by darker girls who thought I wasn't black enough to be part of their community.
To then everyday being asked (to my then frustration) if I am half Chinese and Black because of my accent and looks …and so, the ‘Blackinese’ was born. All of a sudden I was so exotic I became a whole new ethnicity! This frustration and always having to fill in the Other box under ethnic background made me realise that there is not enough voices for people in the between who has no box.
In OTHER I use Hip hop dance, Theatre and spoken word in this dark comical educational piece about the labels and stereotypes we give people of mixed heritage on a day to day basics and questions why we only feel comfortable when we know exactly what DNA the people we speak to are, so we know in which box to put them.
How did it get to this place?
With so many different races in the world today, why are some still confined to tick the generalised Other box when in the future we will all be Others?
What does working with One Dance UK mean to you?
Working with One Dance UK will help me put funk styles back on the map and help engage young and old people, reconnect with the first original street dance and the black heritage. Working with such an interesting and ground-breaking company will highlight not only the importance of this style but the need of support to females in the Hip hop industry.
About Yami ‘Rowdy’ Löfvenberg
UK’s First Lady of Funk has over 19 years’ experience in Streetdance and Funkstyles as a dance artist, teacher and hip hop theatre creator. Yami is currently lecturing at the University of East London and has produced and performed for various shows including: the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, Breakin Convention, Theatre IS, Dare 2 Dance, and Battle of the Year Germany. Yami is a seasoned teacher both in the UK and internationally; with her company Passion and Purpose she curated Project Sonrisa, a community funded project in Colombia where she taught disadvantaged children and local dance teachers. Rowdy’s love, dedication and passion for funk styles across the UK’s hip hop community has earned her place as one of the UK’s ﬁnest dancers and a positive role model for young women.