Adesola

Choreographing the City: Choreographing the Campus

Choreographing the City: Choreographing the Campus

As a 2020-22 Visiting Artist at the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology and Research Affiliate in the Art, Culture, and Technology program, Akinleye investigates how dance-based research and creative collaboration across disciplines can create new techniques, lexicons, and conversations within urban design.

With a particular interest in how the city shapes our bodies, and how, in turn, we shape the city, Akinleye invites the MIT community to observe and engage with the micro-city where we live, work, and learn.

Posted by Adesola in Artworks

Joyful Ballet Class Music

Music

This is the music Brittany Padilla worked with me to create for ballet at TWU. Brittany plays live for the class her she has recorded them so students can practice with the same atmosphere as the class. We are using protest songs. Some tempos etc have been adapted in order to fit the ballet class they go along with. 

Posted by Adesola in Reflections

Dancing Un-Visible Bodies

Dancing Un-Visible Bodies

I discuss how issues of marginalization in the dance studio raised by prejudices against age, ethnicity and/or gender have shared lessons of resilience. From my own presence as an experienced, Black, female body in Western dance settings, I look at social and cultural theory to describe the older dancer as having many bodies. I draw on personal reflections gathered over a year of observations of myself taking dance classes, suggesting strategies for surviving racism in my youth as a Black ballerina offer modes for thriving in the face of exclusionary practices around aging in dance.

Link to publisher 

Citation: Akinleye A. (2022) Dancing Un-Visible Bodies. In: Musil P., Risner D., Schupp K. (eds) Dancing Across the Lifespan. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. pp 113 -128 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82866-0_8

About the book:

This book critically examines matters of age and aging in relation to dance. As a novel collection of diverse authors’ voices, this edited book traverses the human lifespan from early childhood to death as it negotiates a breadth of dance experiences and contexts. The conversations ignited within each chapter invite readers to interrogate current disciplinary attitudes and dominant assumptions and serve as catalysts for changing and evolving long entrenched views among dancers regarding matters of age and aging.

The text is organized in three sections, each representing a specific context within which dance exists. Section titles include educational contexts, social and cultural contexts, and artistic contexts. Within these broad categories, each contributor’s milieu of lived experiences illuminate age-related factors and their many intersections. While several contributing authors address and problematize the phenomenon of aging in mid-life and beyond, other authors tackle important issues that impact young dancers and dance professionals. 

Pam Musil, MA, is a professor emeritus of Dance, Brigham Young University, USA, and a former associate chair of the Department of Dance. As a post-retirement, she works as an independent researcher with interests that include human issues related to dance and literacy, education, gender, and age within populations that span grades 7-12, postsecondary dance education and beyond.

Doug Risner, Ph.D., MFA, professor of dance, distinguished faculty fellow, and director, MA in Dance and Theater Teaching Artistry at Wayne State University, USA, conducts research on the sociology of dance training and education. His book, Masculinity, Intersectionality and Identity: Why Boys (Don’t) Dance [2022], is published by Palgrave MacMillan.

Karen Schupp, MFA, is an associate professor of dance and an associate director of the Herberger Institute School of Music, Dance, and Theater at Arizona State University, USA. Her research interests include dance competition culture, dance curriculum and pedagogy in tertiary education, and equity across the spectrum of dance education.

 

Posted by Adesola in Chapters

For Kaydence and her cousins: Health & Happiness in cultural legacies and contemporary contexts

For Kaydence and her cousins: Health & Happiness in cultural legacies and contemporary contexts

I contribute Chapter Three to this anthology. The chapter discusses the making of a performance work for young indigenous audiences. I suggest that being a part of, and the making together of, art is a healing and vital process: one that is particularly important for the next generation’s ability to determine themselves with creative agency.

Link to publisher

Citation: Akinleye. A (2021) ‘For Kaydence and her cousins’ in Van Styvendale, N., McDougall, J. D., Henry, R., & Innes, R. A. (Eds.). The Arts of Indigenous Health and Well-being. Univ. of Manitoba Press. pp 60-75

About the book: 

Drawing attention to the ways in which creative practices are essential to the health, well-being, and healing of Indigenous peoples, The Arts of Indigenous Health and Well-Being addresses the effects of artistic endeavour on the “good life”, or mino-pimatisiwin in Cree, which can be described as the balanced interconnection of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental well-being. In this interdisciplinary collection, Indigenous knowledges inform an approach to health as a wider set of relations that are central to well-being, wherein artistic expression furthers cultural continuity and resilience, community connection, and kinship to push back against forces of fracture and disruption imposed by colonialism.

The need for healing—not only individuals but health systems and practices—is clear, especially as the trauma of colonialism is continually revealed and perpetuated within health systems. The field of Indigenous health has recently begun to recognize the fundamental connection between creative expression and well-being. This book brings together scholarship by humanities scholars, social scientists, artists, and those holding experiential knowledge from across Turtle Island to add urgently needed perspectives to this conversation. Contributors embrace a diverse range of research methods, including community-engaged scholarship with Indigenous youth, artists, Elders, and language keepers.

The Arts of Indigenous Health and Well-Being demonstrates the healing possibilities of Indigenous works of art, literature, film, and music from a diversity of Indigenous peoples and arts traditions. This book will resonate with health practitioners, community members, and any who recognize the power of art as a window, an entryway to access a healthy and good life.

Editors: Nancy Van Styvendale,  J.D. McDougall,  Robert Henry, Robert Alexander Innes 

Chapters contributed by: Adesola Akinleye, Jessica Bardill, Beverley Diamond, Nikki Dragone, Jo-Ann Episkenew, Linda M Goulet, Louise Halfe, Desiree Hellegers, Petra Kuppers, Warren Linds, Gail MacKay, Margaret Noodin, Karyn Recollet, Andrea Riley Mukavetz, Mamata Pandey, Nuno F. Ribeiro, Alena Rosen, Karen Schmidt

 

“There is a genuinely beautiful life-force at work in this text: it’s artful and creative, readable and forceful. The Arts of Indigenous Health and Well-Being offers important contributions to knowledge and conversations about Indigenous health and the humanities in times and space of contemporary coloniality.”

– Sarah de Leeuw, Canada Research Chair, Humanities and Health Inequities Professor, Northern Medical Program, UNBC

 

“The unique content of The Art of Indigenous Health and Well-Being may be useful for communities to heal, and to preserve cultural and traditional knowledge that can be passed down in the written form. The content can spark dialogue and learning by being discussed and used by families, generations, health providers/healers and a wide array of learners.”

– Margot Latimer, Indigenous Health Chair, Faculty of Nursing, Dalhousie University

Posted by Adesola in Chapters

Bodies of Knowledge: Three conversations on movement, communication and identity

Bodies of Knowledge: Three conversations on movement, communication and identity

I wrote an introductory chapter “Pondering In Embodiment” as response to the work done through the three interdisciplinary, community projects that the book goes on to review. The chapter ties together the three projects through the notion of being ‘in embodiment’ (rather than being ’embodied’). The chapter also serves to introduce the following sections of the book that discuss and reflect on the projects. 

“…Bodies of Knowledge attends to layers of experience for noticing surfaces that reflect ourselves-in-embodiment. In doing so, the projects acknowledge experience, reflections, histories and stories that are often underrepresented in social verbal discourse, but remain vibrant in the bodily experience of those who live them. The depth of layers of the lived-experience are vitalised through the nuance of the arts, and in that vitalisation, they communicate reflections of ourselves-in-embodiment.” p.21

Link to publishers 

Citation: Akinleye, A. (2021). ‘Pondering in Embodiment’, in Purseglove, L. (ed.) Bodies of Knowledge: Three Conversations on Movement, Communication and Identity. Loughborough and London: Radar and Live Art Development Agency, pp. 10-21.

open book pages

About this book: The human body is a site of knowledge production. It holds, shares, creates, enacts, transforms, contests, resists and performs ways of thinking and being in-and-against our worlds, histories and futures.

Featuring conversations, essays, drawings and photographs, Bodies of Knowledge reflects and builds on an interdisciplinary project involving artists, amateur and professional dancers, wrestlers, members of a trans community group and academic researchers interrogating how our bodies are both produced by and productive of knowledges.

From the entanglements of violence and care in the wrestling ring to negotiations of identity through Kathak dance, and the use of photography as a means to explore and communicate the euphorias and horrors of gender, this beautifully designed book explores why and how our bodies know what they know.

Contributors: Adesola Akinleye, Isaac Briggs, Jennifer Cooke, Laurie Crow, Thomas Dawkins (aka Cara Noir), Tara Fatehi Irani, Julia Giese, Martin Hargreaves, Claire Heafford, Joe Moran, Kesha Raithatha, Raju Rage, Nat Thorne, Claire Warden, Sam West and Sam Williams.

Posted by Adesola in Chapters

Dancing through Black British ballet: conversations with dancers.

Dancing through Black British ballet: conversations with dancers.

Co-written with Tia-Monique Uzor, this chapter, reflects on conversations with a number of non-white British dancers who have a long standing dance careers in ballet. The chapter maps histories of resilience and resistance in Britain and internationally

Citation: Akinleye, A. & T Uzor (2021) Dancing through Black British ballet: conversations with dancers Akinleye (ed.) (re:)claiming ballet London: Intellect books pp.216-231

Contents for context within book: 

(editor Adesola Akinleye)

Introduction: Regarding claiming ballet / reclaiming ballet

Part One – Histories

Chapter 1: Ballet, from property to Art – Adesola Akinleye

Chapter 2: Should there be a Female ballet canon? Seven Radical Acts of Inclusion – Julia Gleich and Molly Faulkner

Chapter 3: Arabesque en Noir: The Persistent Presence of Black Dancers in the American Ballet World – Joselli Audain Deans 

Chapter 4: Portrayals of Black people from the African Diaspora in western narrative ballets – Sandie Bourne

Part Two – Knowledges  

Chapter 5: The traces of my ballet body – Mary Savva  

Chapter 6: Ballet Beyond Boundaries – Personal History. Brenda Dixson Gottschild  

Chapter 7:“Auftanzen statt Aufgeben” and The Anti Fascist Ballet School -Elizabeth Ward 

Chapter 8: Dancing Across Historically Racist Borders – Kehinde Ishangi 

Part Three – Resiliences  

Chapter 9: Dance Theatre of Harlem’s radicalization of ballet in 1970s & 1980s – Theresa Ruth Howard  

Chapter 10: Personal testimony as social resilience – Theara J. Ward 

Chapter 11: “Can you feel it?”: Pioneering Pedagogies that Challenge Ballet’s Authoritarian Traditions – Jessica Zeller 

Chapter 12: The Ever After of Ballet – Selby Wynn Schwartz 

Chapter 13: Ballethnic Dance Company Builds Community: Urban Nutcracker leads the way – Nena Gilreath

Part four – Consciousnesses 

Chapter 14: The Counterpoint Project – When Life Doesn’t Imitate Art –  Endalyn Taylor

Chapter 15: Ballet’s Binary Genders in a Rainbow-Spectrum World:

A call for progressive pedagogies – Melonie B. Murray  

Chapter 16: Dancing through Black British ballet: Conversations with dancers – Adesola Akinleye and Tia-Monique Uzor 

Chapter 17: Ballet Aesthetics of Trauma, Development, and Functionality – Luc Vanier & Elizabeth Johnson 

About the contributors 

Index 

Posted by Adesola in Chapters

Ballet, from Property to Art

Ballet, from Property to Art

In this chapter, I reflect on ballet using two lenses of property (ballet-as-property) and inheritance (the Manor House of Ballet). I draw on Cheryl Harris’s seminal paper ‘Whiteness as Property’ to explore how ballet could be seen as being treated as the property of a few rather than an art form in its own right. I suggest that being liberated into being ‘an art form’ offers ballet a rich future that avoids the decay of protectionism.

Citation: Akinleye, A.(2021) Ballet, from property to art, in Akinleye (ed.) (re:)claiming ballet London: Intellect books pp.21-35

Contents for context within book: 

(editor Adesola Akinleye)

Introduction: Regarding claiming ballet / reclaiming ballet

Part One – Histories

Chapter 1: Ballet, from property to Art – Adesola Akinleye

Chapter 2: Should there be a Female ballet canon? Seven Radical Acts of Inclusion – Julia Gleich and Molly Faulkner

Chapter 3: Arabesque en Noir: The Persistent Presence of Black Dancers in the American Ballet World – Joselli Audain Deans 

Chapter 4: Portrayals of Black people from the African Diaspora in western narrative ballets – Sandie Bourne

Part Two – Knowledges  

Chapter 5: The traces of my ballet body – Mary Savva  

Chapter 6: Ballet Beyond Boundaries – Personal History. Brenda Dixson Gottschild  

Chapter 7:“Auftanzen statt Aufgeben” and The Anti Fascist Ballet School -Elizabeth Ward 

Chapter 8: Dancing Across Historically Racist Borders – Kehinde Ishangi 

Part Three – Resiliences  

Chapter 9: Dance Theatre of Harlem’s radicalization of ballet in 1970s & 1980s – Theresa Ruth Howard  

Chapter 10: Personal testimony as social resilience – Theara J. Ward 

Chapter 11: “Can you feel it?”: Pioneering Pedagogies that Challenge Ballet’s Authoritarian Traditions – Jessica Zeller 

Chapter 12: The Ever After of Ballet – Selby Wynn Schwartz 

Chapter 13: Ballethnic Dance Company Builds Community: Urban Nutcracker leads the way – Nena Gilreath

Part four – Consciousnesses 

Chapter 14: The Counterpoint Project – When Life Doesn’t Imitate Art –  Endalyn Taylor

Chapter 15: Ballet’s Binary Genders in a Rainbow-Spectrum World:

A call for progressive pedagogies – Melonie B. Murray  

Chapter 16: Dancing through Black British ballet: Conversations with dancers – Adesola Akinleye and Tia-Monique Uzor 

Chapter 17: Ballet Aesthetics of Trauma, Development, and Functionality – Luc Vanier & Elizabeth Johnson 

About the contributors 

Index 

Posted by Adesola in Chapters

Concrete-Water-Flesh

Concrete-Water-Flesh

Link to web-site 

Concrete-Water-Flesh is a collaborative project with Helen Kindred which places bodily experiences as central to our understanding and Being-in-Place. The project combines the research interests of Adesola and Helen in the development of new physical site-specific  and web-based choreographic work. Stimulated by the Place of the city and Place of the shore.

charcoal drawing bY Andrew Hinton
Posted by Adesola in Artworks

Royal Institute of British Architects film commissions 2021

Royal Institute of British Architects film commissions 2021

Link to film on RIBA channel

 

How do we remember as a society: whispered memory.

How do we remember as a society: pieces of me (in you) 

How do we remember as a society: catching a memory  (published by RIBA on Instagram only)

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has commissioned the artist, scholar and choreographer Adesola Akinleye to create a series of new video artworks inspired by the work of Sir David Adjaye OBE as part of the 2021 Royal Gold Medal celebrations. The videos are now available to watch on the RIBA Youtube channel.

Akinleye’s pieces respond to a prevalent theme throughout Adjaye’s practice, that of memory, through videos that convey how memories of specific places keep us connected to the sites that we have been physically separated from during the pandemic. The videos invite viewers to be fully present in a cathartic experience that will temporarily take you outside of yourself to share in Akinleye’s multilayered assemblage of memories.

Akinleye recollects a number of sites that remain important to her and therefore form part of her identity despite their distance from the location of her home. She remembers the presence of her body in different places and conveys this through a layering of imagery, movement and sound that playfully celebrates the glitch in the Zoom background algorithm. Shot entirely at home, Akinleye reflects on the past year of isolation within the confines of our domestic interiors, and suggests recognising shared experiences of specific buildings can form a collective memory that holds us together as a society.

About the Royal Gold Medal
The Royal Gold Medal has been awarded annually since 1848 and is recognized as the UK’s highest honour for architecture. The award is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture.” The 2021 recipient of the award is Sir David Adjaye OBE.

Posted by Adesola in Artworks