In the past six months, ANIKAYA’s work has expanded exponentially. We have established new relationships in Brazil, Turkey, Mali, Burkina Faso and France.

The Deep premiered in São Paulo in February following a two-week residency with twenty performers at the Centro de Referencia da Dança de São Paulo. While in São Paulo, I also gave a workshop at CEU Caminho do Mar, an arts center that serves of the peripheral communities of São Paulo. This workshop was part of a series of workshops leading toward the creation of Run (Like a Girl).

Upon my return to the US, I was invited to create new choreography as part of the Rhythms of Change Festival at Brown University, working with Lacina Coulibaly (Burkina Faso), Naomi Fall (Mali/France), Bazoumana Kouyate (Mali) and Stephanie Turner (US).

In March I was in Istanbul, working with composer Kemal Karoaz on our plans for The Conference of the Birds, which we will be creating over the next two years in the US, Turkey, Mali and India. I also taught a 3-day Run (Like a Girl) workshop for high school students at the Istanbul International Community School.

In April we performed He Who Burns in Philadelphia, hosted by Twelve Gates Arts, as well as The Deep in Cambridge with dancers from the Boston dance community. I also created the second in a series of video haikus, which will be an ongoing project in the coming years. The video was of “Entangling,” a duet with Lacina Coulibaly, inspired by the phenomenon of Quantum Entanglement and the experience of international/intercultural dance diplomacy.

In May I taught a one-day Run (Like a Girl) workshop for Urbano, a center for visual and performing arts in Jamaica Plain, Boston.

In June, Genevieve Hyacinthe and I traveled to Bamako, Mali, where we were welcomed by GnagamiX, directed by Naomi Fall, and Donko Seko, a dance/cultural center and company directed by Kettly Noel. I gave an intensive workshop for dancers from these companies, culminating in a performance of sketches for The Conference of the Birds and a solo performance of Lilith in the beautiful open air space of Donko Seko. I also gave workshop for community dancers, including a workshop for the young students of Donko Seko. While in Bamako, Naomi, Genevieve, Lacina and I were also able to visit Jigiya Kalanso, the school for the Deaf, where we met with all of the students and teachers.

It was a busy six months, and the rest of the year promises more of the same!

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