Black Victorians is a dance performance inspired by the discovery of hundreds of portraits of black people in England during the Victorian era. These images were deliberately airbrushed from our society for over 100 years. It is now time for this part of our British history to be told.
The piece is about bringing voice and body to the characters in the portraits through movement, text and music. Audiences will experience five versatile dancers re-imagining the stories of the Victorian portraits through a range of dance styles – from African & Jazz to street and contemporary dance.
Creative / Production Credits
Artistic Director & Choreographer - Jeanefer Jean-Charles
Set and Costume Designer - Marsha Roddy
Composer - DJ Walde
Anthony Anaxagorou - Poet
Hassan Mahamdallie - Dramaturg
Martha Stylianou - Creative Consultant
Rehearsal Director - Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster
Rehearsal Assistant - Cherilyn Albert
Victorian Court Dance Specialist - Kerry Fletcher
Stage Manager - Cynthia Franklin
Ellena Owen-Moreno - Design Assistant
Project Administrative Assistant - Cheniece Warner
Creative Dance Artists:
Producer - Alison Holder and Festival.org
Black Victorians is supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Festival.org, Hat Fair and Brighton Festival.
Thanks to the Autograph Gallery for their kind support with access to the 'Exhibition in a Box' and portraits. Also to Historic Royal Palaces for the financial support for research and development.
Black Victorians is inspired by Black Chronicles – The Missing Chapter, an ongoing archive research programme led by Autograph focused on unearthing nineteenth century photographs of black presences in Britain.
About Jeanefer Jean-Charles & Associates
Creative Director & Choreographer Jeanefer Jean-Charles is a globally respected artist, specialising in large-scale outdoor performances. Since starting her journey as Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Bullies Ballerinas’ Jazz Dance Company, her work has taken her to over 21 countries. Her unique creative process aims to bring to life the talents, strengths and shared stories of local communities and artists in inspiring and unforgettable ways.
Her career highlights include the role of Mass Movement Coordinator for all four of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies and Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected in Cardiff, Artistic Director for The Rugby League World Cup Opening Ceremony (2013) and directed Spirit of Woolwich in Transe Express Cristal Palace show for Greenwich Festival Global Streets event (2019).