Archiving with Bare Feet: Truth & Transparency (2024 digital archive)

Archiving with Bare Feet: Truth & Transparency (2024 digital archive)

Archiving with Bare Feet

This is a digital archive that documents the choreographic process, Climbing with Bare Feet, and the 2007 performance that came from it: Truth & Transparency. Commissioned by Siobhan Davies Studios.

Truth & Transparency is a choreography for two performers and one dancer who manipulates an image projected onto the stage using a mirror. The work was inspired by Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’ and Adesola’s reflections on bringing-up their own children as two Black youth. The piece researched Step and Crumping dance forms, and foreshadowed new technology using projection in real-time to manipulate the audience’s perception of dancers and space.

Archiving with Bare Feet takes up the challenge of archiving artistic process, from Adesola’s perspective as a Black, female presenting, choreographer – a perspective which placed them outside the British dance mainstream in 2007. Collating various materials – footage, reflections, restagings – the archive reflects on what happens to the work of a dancer or a choreographer when it is/they are archived. Instead of presenting choreographic work as something that lives outside of a particular time; this archive understands it as living, existing through ongoing processes and the artistic knowledge it generates.

Posted by Adesola in Artworks

Fearless belonging & river-me

Fearless belonging & river-me

Chapter in Geographies of Us: Ecosomatic Essays and Practice Pages, edited by Sondra Fraleigh and Shannon Rose Riley, Routledge(2024)

Reviews of the book :

“This collection of essays gathers together important strands in the current studies of ecosomatics. It includes many ‘practice pages’ that open doors to the feelings that have generated the commitment of the writers to creating common grounds for deep conversation about the way people live in the ecologies of the world. The combination of affective strength, so difficult to articulate, with practical exercises—such as the many approaches to breathing as a form of ecoproprioception—will draw readers into places/ geographies where artmaking and philosophy join together and suggest new languages for thinking and talking about engaging with this Earth.”
Lynette Hunter, Professor of Theatre and Dance, University of California, Davis


“This seminal collection of essays maps the contours of an emerging field: ecosomatics. At the intersection of dance studies, movement studies, philosophy, and ecology, ecosomatics encourages ways of thinking and doing that cultivate a human’s sensory awareness of their bodily enmeshment in enabling places and worlds—nexuses of material relationships which call for respect, reciprocity, and responsibility. In essays written by an international cast of contributors, ecosomatics demonstrates its fierce commitment to social and environmental justice; a ready embrace of Indigenous knowledges, histories, and rights; thoughtful engagement with established fields of phenomenology, eco-philosophy, and dance studies; a lived, dialectical production of theory and practice, and an overriding mission to participate as consciously as possible in generating worldviews and bodily practices that sensitize humans to the ongoing health and wellbeing of the Earth in us and around us.”
Kimerer L. LaMothe, PhD, author of Why We Dance: A Philosophy of Bodily Becoming


Geographies of Us provides an exciting snapshot of a diversifying field: of the different methods, playful encounters, bodymind approaches, and land politics that make up the contemporary ecosomatic inquiry, with plenty of invitations to join in the dance. At its heart, this collection is about local and grounded connection, about reaching out—in intergenerational liveliness and critterly entanglement, in touch and in movement, in human and more-than-human worlds.”
Petra Kuppers, author of Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters; Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor of Performance Studies and Disability Culture, University of Michigan


“I consider this the most important work to emerge in interdisciplinary dance/performance studies this century. The depth and quality of engagement available to the reader in these pages has the potential to widely transform thought, practice, institutions, environments, and the lived relations between.”
Karen Bond, Chair of Dance, Temple University

Posted by Adesola in Chapters

Marking the Moment: documenting dance in coloured water, flesh, sand and charcoal

Marking the Moment: documenting dance in coloured water, flesh, sand and charcoal

Peer Reviewed Journal

published in Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices.

Citation: Akinleye, A. (2023). Marking the Moment: documenting dance in coloured water, flesh, sand, and charcoal Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, Vol 15, Its. 2, pp. 159-169

Link to article

Link to performance artwork the article is about 

This article discusses interdisciplinary methods for recalling and documenting the somatic knowledges derived from movement (such as dance movement). The article explores the research-as-practice interdisciplinary activity of Concrete-Water- Flesh at Deptford, a set of three structured improvisational dance scores carried out on the sand by the River Thames at Deptford, United Kingdom in 2020 and 2021. During Concrete-Water-Flesh at Deptford, I, Helen Kindred and some fellow dancers (forming DancingStrong Movement Lab Company) moved across the sand at the river’s edge, while fine artists (including Nina Anderson, Andrew Hinton and Mary Rodriguez) moved across paper, drawing us using elements from the shore (the sandy sludge, charcoal from burnt beach debris, and water). In the moment of dance, the marks of our movements (such as on sand or on paper) offered a documentation of the somatic experience of Concrete-Water-Flesh at Deptford. I suggest the collaboration of Concrete-Water-Flesh at Deptford raises possibili- ties for, and further questions about, documenting and languaging the embodied.

Keywords: dance, drawing, embodiment, interdisciplinary, language, moment, non-verbal, scores. 

dancer in dance attitude dance position on river shore with city buildings behind.
Posted by Adesola in Articles

Black British Ballet project

Black British Ballet project

So excited to see this project that Dr Sandie Bourne has been working on with her team for a number of years. Their website is launched. It has interviews with lots of dancers, many old friends and colleagues. 

Here is the link 

Posted by Adesola in Reflections

The Distance of Education

The Distance of Education

I contribute Chapter 10 in Futures of Performance: The Responsibility of Performing Arts in Higher Education, edited by Karen Schupp.

The 2020/21 COVID-19 pandemic wrenched arts education onto the Zoom screen, but after my 12 years of teaching online with performance arts students, I suggest the online learning space offers more than just temporary replacements for in-person classes. In this chapter, I use the distance-education course I wrote/co-wrote and directed/co-directed for 12.5 years as a case study. The strangeness of “teaching” performance artists through an online course was often at odds with the main body of the university. However, the use of online mediums to educate was not to replace the physicality of being together familiar to a traditional construction of university. Rather it allowed students to practice arts around the world in early career settings, such as apprenticeships in touring companies. The courses utilized the Internet and distance education to create a performing arts pedagogical framing drawing on network theory and connectivism. I conclude the chapter by suggesting the embodied, creative knowledges of the performing arts have much to offer general pedagogical responses to the digital world of the 21st century.

Link to publisher 

Futures of Performance edited by Karen Schupp, inspires both current and future artists/academics to reflect on their roles and responsibilities in igniting future-forward thinking and practices for the performing arts in higher education.

The book presents a breadth of new perspectives from the disciplines of music, dance, theatre, and mediated performance and from a range of institutional contexts. Chapters from teachers across various contexts of higher education are organized according to the three main areas of responsibilities of performing arts education: to academia, to society, and to the field as a whole. With the intention of illuminating the intricacy of how performing arts are situated and function in higher education, the book addresses key questions including: How are the performing arts valued in higher education? How are programs addressing equity? What responsibilities do performing arts programs have to stakeholders inside and outside of the academy? What are programs’ ethical obligations to students and how are those met? Futures of Performance examines these questions and offers models that can give us some of the potential answers.

This is a crucial and timely resource for anyone in a decision-making position within the university performing arts sector, from administrators, to educators, to those in leadership positions.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Responsibilities to Academia

Introduction – Karen Schupp

Performance Across the Disciplines: Envisioning Transdisciplinary Performance Pedagogies in Postsecondary Education – Jesse Katen

Ethics, Standards, Evaluation, and Support of Creative Research in Academia – Ali Duffy, Isabella Gonzales, and Destanie Davidson Preston

Ugly Feelings and Social Justice: Interrupting Inaction in Times of Perpetual Crisis – Lauren Kapalka Richerme

Hosting Co(n)fusion: Art Residencies as Invitation-Practices – Janaína Moraes

Decolonizing Tertiary Dance Education Through Including Student Voices in a Curricula Change Project – Camilla Reppen, Lovisa Lundgren, and Tone Pernille Østern

The Creative Spaces at HBCUs – Avis HatcherPuzzo, Soni Martin, Denise Murchison Payton, and Amanda Virelles

Call of the Butterfly: The Tao of Genuine Generosity – Robert Farid Karimi


Section 2: Responsibilities to the Fields

Introduction – Karen Schupp

The Distance of Education – Adesola Akinleye

Performing Hartford: A Community Turns its Head – Rebecca K. Pappas

Integrating Disciplines–Disciplining Integration: Opera Curriculum through a Transdisciplinary Counter-Critical Pedagogy – Kevin Skelton

Sustainable Futures in Performance Practice, Production, and Distribution Ecologies – Max Zara Bernstein

Fighting for Equity With(in) Parasitical Resistance – Jessica Rajko

A Tertiary Music Performance Education Through a Lens of Entrepreneurship – Deanna Swoboda

“Undervalued, Underpaid, Underappreciated”: The Lived Experiences of Adjunct Faculty in the Performing Arts. – Karen Schupp, Artemis Preeshl, and Joya Scott


Section 3: Responsibilities to Society

Introduction – Karen Schupp

Performing Arts Education for Democracies: Are We Cultivating Citizens or Docile Laborers? – Robin Raven Prichard

Revitalizing the US Baccalaureate Dance Major: Integrating Values of Diversity and Interdisciplinarity – Sherrie Barr and Wendy Oliver

Interrogating the Academy’s Role in the Journey from Art Music to Heart Music – Fiona Evison

Toward a Pedagogy of Care: Well-being, Grief, and Community-based Theatre’s Role in Higher Education – Rivka Eckert

Arts Education in Community Colleges: A Critical Connection – Amy C. Parks

Pedagogies of Critical Embodiment: Activating Submerged Histories, Moving Toward Anti-Racist Futures – Dasha A. Chapman

The Performing Arts in the Next America: Preparing Students for Their Future – Peter Witte

Posted by Adesola in Chapters



SPLASH! is a 40 minute immersive interactive performance for young audiences and their families. It incorporates live dance and music with original artwork pieces both hung and projected as part of the immersive nature of the show. The audience follows the course of a small stream, to a river running through a city to, the wide ocean.

The work includes an extensive gallery exhibition of artwork generated from the collaboration of dancer and visual artists. 

Workshops that accompany the performance include family drawing workshops and story telling. 


SPLASH! has be developed out of the research of Concrete, Water, Flesh and is an interactive, immersive performance work for galleries and community spaces.

The show explore our human relationship with water for young audiences and their community while taking audiences on a journey of movement through artwork, sound, and dance. 

R&D funded by Arts Council England with support from Irie! Dance Theatre and Texas Woman’s University

Posted by Adesola in Artworks



We have just finished final R&D for DancingStrong Movement Lab’s Gallery interactive work for young audiences  – SPLASH!. We were able to finish the work and have some performances with support from  an Arts Council Grant. It has been really fun making SPLASH! which draw on all our workshops dancing at the River Thames and drawing with Andrew and Mary. It was also informed by different experiences celebrating Global water Dances over the few years. SPLASH! is scheduled to start touring in the new year (2024). 

dancer with arm out and projection of arm on wall
Posted by Adesola in Reflections

Archiving with Bare Feet: archiving the performance work ‘Truth & Transparency’ – Siobhan Davies Studios

Archiving with Bare Feet: archiving the performance work ‘Truth & Transparency’ – Siobhan Davies Studios

 This project involves me archiving a work I created in 2007. It is part of a programme designed by Siobhan Davies Studios that explores archiving, whose work is archived and how we archive dance. 

I will be archiving ‘Truth & Transparency’ (2007) is a performance work for three: two performers and one dancer manipulating an image projected onto the performance space using a mirror. The work was inspired by Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’ and my reflections on bringing-up my own children at the time. The original piece researched Step and Crumping dance forms and foreshadowed new technology using projection in real-time to manipulate the audience’s perception of dancers and space.

Link to Siobhan Davies Studios further information:

Archiving with Bare Feet: archiving the performance work ‘Truth & Transparency’ (2023)

An interactive digital archive using original footage and the creation of a responding new work. The original 2007 work manipulated projected images onto live dancers inspired by Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’, the work of Olafur Eliuasson , and Ingo Maurer as well as my experiences as a mother of two Black youth living in the UK. The original piece foreshadowed new technology using projection in real-time. This was to manipulate the audience’s perception of dancers and the space in order to investigate how identity is projected onto Black youth.

With new online technology and my young children now in their late 20s, the ‘archiving’ process takes the form of a new choreographic response to the first work reflecting the precarity of safety for Black identities in the UK 15 years on. The digital space will include both first and second renditions of the piece along with interactive choreographic prompts for visitors to the site. The site will hosted by Siobhan Davis Dance for two years. The project asks: what it mean to archive outside the mainstream canon? How do Western dance archiving traditions render Black dancing bodies visible and un-visible?

Posted by Adesola in Reflections

This place you shared with us (solo) Our grandmothers call the mountain, ‘the mountain with the ocean inside’ (trio)

This place you shared with us (solo) Our grandmothers call the mountain, ‘the mountain with the ocean inside’ (trio)

Premieres at Texas Woman’s University, Dance Division Black Box Theatre. This work emerged from the research project ‘Water Sources as Embodied Archives: ecosomatic dances and traditional knowledges (Teotihuacan, Mexico City and Denton)’ with Danza Chikawa and TWU IDC company. Supported by TWU Creative Arts and Humanities Grant 

These pieces emerged from a shared concern about the effect building and mining have had on water tables and water quality globally (with a focus on Teotihuacan, Mexico City and Denton). Mining the mountains around Mexico City and the Teotihuacan area has had s detrimental impact on rainfall. The mountains attract and gather rainfall, creating natural reservoirs and filtering water. In recent years many of these mountains have been mined out of existence, as a result, water has become scarce, and natural cycles are disrupted. Member of Danza Chikawa had been dancing and lobbying for legislation to protect the mountains around the pyramids at Teotihuacan. This initial research was a collaboration between myself, Elisa De La Rosa, and Danza Chikawa particularly dancer Yoezer Flores and family.

This place you shared with us

Choreographed, images and performed by Adesola Akinleye

This work is an installation to be danced in. It comprises a solo in earth following which the audiences are invited to explore the installation, to experience seeing it from inside the stage. Part of my exploration in this work is about how I can make ‘the data’ accessible in dance practice -based ethnographic research. 

Our Grandmothers call the mountain, “the mountain with the ocean inside’

Choreographer: Adesola Akinleye

Dancers: Juliana Azoubel, Cadence Banks, Holly Griffin

Music: Brittany Padilla – using sound samples collected during Akinleye and De La Rosa’s research trip to Teotihuacan and Mexico City 2022,; featuring a sample of Myerde la Tiena by Abnela Malinalli

Costumes: Chris Flores

Those women I may not know by name, but I know them by their essence in the stones that once were mountains. 

Posted by Adesola in Artworks