2016 Round up

Tuesday 24 January 2017

As we look back over a crazy year, we feel thankful that amidst the turmoil of social, political and economic life, we have managed to keep going for another year, delivering a range of positive projects that we can focus on as we move into another no doubt turbulent year. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends and supporters for this our 30th anniversary year, and to wish you a peaceful Christmas and a happy and positive 2017!

Highlights of 2016 include:
1. The production and Autumn Tour of ‘Where Is Home?’
The full international dance theatre production was created in the summer of 2016, in partnership with Dartington Arts, Dance In Devon and Acossi Jeans NY, and is a platform for great music and dance from South Africa, mixed with urban culture from London and LA. For the creation of Where Is Home?, State of Emergency continued to expand its commitment to the profiling and development of Black choreographers and commissioned two established Black choreographers, Michael Joseph and Dumisani Ngubane, and one emerging Black choreographer, Bafana Solomon Matea  to work with us to create the show.
Where Is Home? has also enabled State of Emergency to develop a musical soundtrack through collaboration with renowned South African flautist and Grammy winner, Wouter Kellerman.
A first UK tour of Where Is Home? took place in Autumn 2016, with a second tour booked for Spring 2017 plus an invitation to perform at Edinburgh Fringe 2017.
So far the show has wowed audiences, with unanimously positive audience feedback. Here are a few examples:
‘A beautiful tale combining tradition with modern; a story of love, identity, internal and social conflict. Beautifully amalgamated colour, dance, music and history.’ Nela Klomfarova (White European Female 20-29)
‘Fantastic. Life affirming. Light and dark. Fabulously talented. State of Emergency always produce quality shows - so high.’ Edson Burton (Black Caribbean Male 40-49)
‘It was amazing! I loved it so much. Being from Zimbabwe I was able to relate to the music and storyline. I really enjoyed it. Hell yes!’  Charmaine Zinyemba (Black African Female 16-19)
The Where Is Home? trailer can be viewed at: (8 minute version); (2 minute version) and a 15 minute documentary about the creation period at:

Pictured above the cast of Where is Home?L-R: (Back Row) Michele Montolli, Bafana Matea, Akona Florian, Nosiphiwo Samente, Deborah Baddoo MBE, Steve Marshall, Ed Hick, (Front Row) Tony Banyatsi, Thapelo Kotlolo, Tshediso Kabulu, Michael Joseph. Photo (c) 2016 Peter Japal

2. The completion of Phase One of the Black Dance Archive
2016 saw the setting up of 25 collections preserving the 50 year heritage of dance of the African Diaspora in the UK. Phase One of the project was completed in March 31st 2016 and SOE are currently planning for the next phase of the project.  An exciting 18 month outreach and activity programme with community groups, schools and colleges took place together with a touring exhibition promoting the National Archive for Black Dance to National Dance Houses and other organisations.
In support of further promotion and of widening the reach of the archive SOE’s Artistic Director, in partnership with Dr Jane Carr at the University of Bedfordshire, delivered a paper at the Congress on Dance Research Conference at Pomona University, California.  The paper was enthusiastically received and followed by further invitations to speak internationally.
Clearly a national archive for Black dance is an important initiative and we look forward to developing future links and partnerships. Partners in the archive are: The Black Cultural Archive, National Resource Centre for Dance at the University of Surrey, Birmingham Museums and Records, Leeds University Library, the V&A and Trinity Laban.

Pictured above (from the Black Dance Archive): Carl Campbell's Dance Company 7.

3. Strategic Alliance Development
The SABD network is still going strong and this year, alongside networking sessions and artists presenting talks about their projects for feedback and discussion, we focused on the development and importance of archiving with a special conference event ‘Dance, Diaspora and the role of the archive’, delivered in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, Research Institute for Media, Arts and Performance and the Congress on Dance Research.  Inspiring and entertaining thoughts were shared by key artists who are represented in the archive including Greta Mendez, Sheron Wray and Carl Campbell.
A special themed meeting was held at Stratford Circus, London, focusing on producing, developing and touring work for international audiences. Nadine Patel, the British Council Sub-Saharan Africa officer made a presentation alongside Yemi Mokuolu  (Hatch Events) who has produced theatre and music events in Nigeria. SOE’s Artistic Director spoke about the process and lessons learnt from producing and touring ‘Where Is Home?’.

Pictured above (Directors and Trustees) L-R: Paul Land, Alison St Helene, Susie Derby, Steve Maingot, Deborah Baddoo MBE, Ellen Miller, Steve Marshall

4. Looking for new Board Members!
We would like to take this opportunity to let you know that in line with our Board Development strategy SOE is actively looking for people to become directors and trustees.
As a producer, State of Emergency has a proven track record and is proud of its associations with some of the leading names in the contemporary arts scene. Across a wide range of activity, State of Emergency has also provided opportunities for hundreds of ‘emerging’ artists and participants in the fields of dance and music. See ‘Current & Future Productions’: and Repertoire’:
Alongside the productions, State of Emergency has pursued a passionate, long-term vision to support the development of Black choreographers and dance artists and currently holds a position of considerable strength within the national dance networks, based on the success and branding of its productions.
The challenge is to balance our commitment to the development of Black choreographers and dance artists on one hand, with our own artistic vision/aesthetic on the other, bearing in mind the need to prioritise work that opens up new sources of independent income.
If you are interested in joining the board please email in the first instance.