September 24 2010

Ethiopian Dance Exchange Project

Addisu choreographs with Issie ('Looking for my Contact Lens' [Ed])

by Issie Lloyd, Dance Development Worker

When I found out that Valley and Vale was going to have an Ethiopian choreographer (Addisu) over to deliver a combination of Ethiopian/Contemporary Dance and participate within the Welsh dance routes I was incredibly excited!

In preparation for Addisu’s arrival I got together seven experienced dancers ready for him to create a Contemporary piece with, for Valley and Vale’s cultural exchange evening ‘Double Take’, which was held at The Gate Theatre on 14th September.

Working alongside Addisu was magical, throughout the creative process of the dance piece he spread his contagious energy, encouraging us to experiment with contact work, lifts, breath and traditional Ethiopian movement. Addisu played with a stimulus of strength and layers which were two of twelve words in which Alison McGann had used throughout her Double Take photo exhibition.

Seeing continuous links between the themes, cultures and other art forms involved throughout Double Take project was enlightening and inspiring. On the night of the performance the acts were filled with energy and the audience was attentive to every song, dance and speech made. A huge thank you to the dancers involved who travelled from around South Wales and Bristol and most all… to Addisu who we will miss greatly until next time!

One thing I have learnt from this experience is how similar some of us are no matter our culture, background or distance apart!

Life is there to enjoy.