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Dance Base Scotland / Ecole des Sables Senegal: Source Exchange for Scotland-Based Artists (Senegal)

An African dancer raises both arms over her head and looks outward pensively. She is outdoors, surrounded by rust-coloured sheets that form a roofless space.

Dance Base Scotland and Ecole des Sables Senegal unite to create Source, an exchange project celebrating African Contemporary practice through Germaine Acogny’s Technique.

The British Council Connect and Collaborate Fund have made it possible for Dance Base Scotland and Ecole des Sables in Senegal to begin a relationship that benefits dancers from Africa and Scotland. To begin this groundbreaking project, the organisers now invite two dance artists to be immersed in an exploration of the Acogny Technique, culminating in a 2-3 week residency at Ecole des Sables with Madame Acogny, Alesandra Seutin and Wesley Ruzibiza.

Germain Acogny, the Mother of Contemporary African Dance, is a legendary pioneer in the development of contemporary African dance. She has given life to the Acogny Technique; a synthesis between traditional African dances and cultures from elsewhere. This unique approach has defined the current landscape of contemporary dance in Africa and established a generation of dancers who have trained under her artistic direction at Acogny’s home at Ecole des Sables, the International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary African Dances, in Dakar, Senegal.

Thanks to support from the British Council, Dance Base are ready to ignite a meaningful creative exchange with Senegal where this original technique can be shared at its source, explored, interpreted, and potentially absorbed into the dance vocabulary of the Scottish artists who take part. The successful applicants will be invited to investigate how the Acogny Technique resonates with their current practice, and to explore the roots and forms of Acogny’s extraordinary work.

Artistic Directors at Dance Base Scotland and Ecole des Sables will select two artists from each country to take part in Source. The partner organisations will support the matching of Scottish and Senegalese artists to work in collaboration from September 2021 to May 2022.

Artists will benefit from financial and logistical support to enable them to connect with their collaborator digitally over 8 months. This digital collaboration will culminate in a 2-3 week live Source residency at the iconic Ecole des Sables in May 2022 (duration will be agreed between the artists, Ecole des Sable and Dance Base). Source will run concurrently with Dakar Biennale 2022, providing the opportunity to become inspired and familiar with the wider contemporary visual arts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Source runs from September 2021 until May 2022 and will provide:

  • A daily artist fee of £130. This will provide a total fee of £1040 for the digital collaboration that will take place from September to April 2022 (based on 1 day a month for 8 months), and a total fee of between £1820 - £2730 for the artist residency in Senegal in May 2022 (based on a duration of between 14 – 21 days).
  • Digital connection and collaboration with a Senegalese dance artist from September 2021 to April 2022 (anticipated as 1 day a month).
  • A 2-3 week Source residency at Ecole des Sables in Senegal in May 2022 to work together in-person, share practice and experience and attend Acogny Technique class at its source. All international and local travel, accommodation and catering will be provided. The number of days required for the residency will be agreed with the artist, Dance Base and Ecole des Sables.
  • Attendance at the Dakar Biennale in May 2022 to experience contemporary African art and culture during your residency (the festival runs from 19 May – 21 June 2022).
  • The opportunity to create a meaningful connection with Ecole des Sables and the incoming Artistic Directors Alesandra Seutin and Wesley Ruzibiza.
  • Creative and logistical support from the Dance Base team.

Source is for artists who:

  • Are based in Scotland.
  • See their work as based in physical or choreographic practices.
  • Are actively making and researching.
  • Have made work which has been shown publicly.
  • Toured their work to more than one venue (desirable).

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