It begins in darkness is a dance full of ghosts.
In this stark, stripped back performance, five dancers move through a series of mysterious and experimental rites of passage, channelling past, present and future tensions through their bodies and voices. As if to exorcise the haunted house of history, the dancers whisper, jump, wrestle, shiver, wail and laugh, filling the space with horrors, both real and imagined.
It begins in darkness is an environment for processing the fear, anger and confusion which arise from the histories of slavery and colonialism that haunt the present.
Choreographer, Seke Chimutengwende, has been researching the connections between horror, haunting and the histories of slavery and colonialism since 2019. The research has included the writing of a long piece of text, a rehearsal period on Zoom, and a residency at a stately home (Newstead Abbey), alongside work in the studio. To read more about the work's development, please visit Seke's website here.
Dancers: Rhys Dennis, Adrienne Ming, Mayowa Ogunnaike, Rose Sall Sao and Natifah White
Choreography and text: Seke Chimutengwende with the dancers
Created with input from Alethia Antonia
Dramaturgy: Charlie Ashwell
Lighting design: Marty Langthorne
Costume design: Annie Pender
Composer: Aisha Orazbayeva
Sound technician: Michael Picknett
Producer: Eve Veglio-Hüner
Arts Council England Project Grants, The Place, Dance4, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Impermanence, Bluecoat, University of Roehampton, Sadler’s Wells and Chats Palace
Initial support from Wainsgate Dances, Battersea Arts Centre and Newstead Abbey/Dancing Museums