Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Afro-Latin Lounge

Sheba and Blu
2 Solo Performances

Through spoken word, comedy, poetry and dance, Sheba Montserrat brings to light the everyday words and expressions which subtly and unconciously reinforce racist and sexist mindsets.

This is a one woman show to make you think, laugh and review how the careless use of words can contribute to the perception and feelings of superiority, inferiority and awkward otherness.

22nd October 2015 @ 7pm 

Coombes Croft Library
High Road, Tottenham,
London N17 8AD


Blu,of Blu UK jazz dance, pays homage to vaudeville performer, dancer, singer and entertainer, John W. Bubbles.  

John W. Bubbles was known as the father of "rhythm tap", a form of tap dance which Bubbles merged with the then, new, improvised style of jazz, reinventing the tap art form.

Blu's tribute is a rhythmic walk and percussive heel toe jamboree into a music filled world of dance, family, life, love and triumphs.

29th October 2015 @ 7pm 

Coombes Croft Library
High Road, Tottenham,
London N17 8AD

Senegal: Never Mind the Mbalax | 20-29 November 2015
Dakar is one of the hottest music capitals of Africa – renowned for its high-energy mbalax music, the rhythmic dance style pioneered by Youssou N’Dour; and its hip-hop scene, one of the most vibrant in Africa, credited for bringing an end to 40 years of socialist rule in 2000.
Music programmes often change without warning but with Songlines’ help, you can find the best local sounds, from mbalax to folk via reggae, roots and hip-hop, and get an understanding of the music at its roots.
Dakar’s nightspots are infamous, including Youssou’s Thiossane, Thione Seck’s Penc-me, the fashionable Just4U and the youthful Yengoulène. Bands like the legendary Orchestra Baobab, the super-cool maverick guitarist Cheikh Lô and the young singing star Carlou D often play on the weekends.
For more information, head over to the Songlines Music Travel page.
“This is an incredible tour. We had the privilege of meeting musicians in their own homes and villages – and listening to their music was an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget.”

Maureen NiFiann on the Songlines Music Travel trip to Senegal

Contact Master Travel for more details of any of our tours or to enquire about personalised music trips which can be tailored to your own interests

Email: | Call: +44 (0) 20 7501 6375

Light Steps: dance performance for children & their families
Join us for our London Premiere @ Stratford Circus
November 7th.                                            
Box office: 0844 357 2625


This Autumn Adesola Akinleye's DancingStrong Company has a mini-tour of their work for children Light Steps. The workshops, performances, & school performances are kicked off with a London premiere of the work at Stratford Circus Arts Center. So grab the kids, nephews, nieces & neighbors and come and join in the fun. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Como NoFacebook Twitter

Jorge Drexler live at the Barbican

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Tickets on Sale tomorrow 9am


Buika at Koko - Friday 19 February


Novalima at Rich Mix

Sunday 8 November

From our friends

October, 15th 2015

THE LATIN HOUSE Thursday 15th October 


RUEDA DE CASINOSaturday 17th October

SALSA FOR BEGINNERS Saturday 17th October 


Cuban Salsa & Bachata Every Tuesday

Every Tuesday Bachata and Cuban Salsa Lessons for all levels!
Join Juan Soto (Salsa and Bachata Champion), Javier Bermeo, Julian "The Duke", and Master Elder Sanchez in our Cuban night in 2 different ambient every Tuesday:

Salsa Room + Exclusive Bachata Room for classes and Social Dance!
Salsa & Bachata Every Wednesday

Our Wednesdays that feel like Weekend!
Now Salsateca offers you more! Join us at the amazing Amber Bar in Moorgate in 2 different ambient every Wednesday:

Salsa Room + Exclusive Bachata Room for classes and Social Dance!
Salsa & Bachata Every Thursday

The Latin House is Back in Clapham Junction!
Every Thursday Night the old Wessex house vive is back to DNA CLUB. Now with Bachata Room with the UK's Bachata pioner Peynao "Er Bachatero" Teaching and playing the best tunes. And the best UK Salsa Dj's on Rotation. 

El Bembe Party Twice a  Month

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the Month

El Bembé 'London's Trendiest Salsa Night in London' after 2 years is a must attend event in the regular Salsa calendar; now Every 2nd & 4th Saturdays of the Month, is back to its new regular home in St Paul's at the brand new venue THE BOTTLESCRUE, two minutes walk from St Paul's Tube.

at Amber Bar*, or any of the Bars and Clubs where we run our lessons and parties.
Salsateca Dance School aims to bring Latin culture to London since 1992, organizing lessons and Latin nights in nice venues where you can socialize and have a nice drink while you learn how to dance.

Please remember is all about the music, dance, meet people, have a drink and a great time. In the same way that you wouldn't bring your own sandwich or water to the table of a restaurant respect the venue rules and keep etiquette.

*At Amber Bar they have FREE ice tub water available on the top of the bar all night, and they sell mineral water and other soft drinks, beers, spirits and nice cocktails all night. They have happy hour until 8pm


at Amber Bar
CLASSES: Bachata, Cuban Salsa. All levels! 

TIME: 7.00pm - 9:00pm.
CLUB: 9:00pm - 11:30pm
Bachata class: £8.00. 
Salsa class: £8.00.
Both classes: £12.00. 

More info >>

at Amber Bar
CLASSES: Sensual Bachata, Crossbody Salsa. All levels!
TIME: 7.00pm - 9:00pm.
CLUB: 9:00pm - 11:30pm.
Bachata class: £8.00. 
Salsa class: £8.00.
Both classes: £12.00. 

More info >>

at DNA Club
CLASSES: Bachata, Crossbody Salsa with a Cuban Twist. 
All levels!
TIME: 7.15pm - 9:15pm.
CLUB: 9:15pm - 1:00am
With DJ Johnny G!!
Bachata class: £8.00. 
Salsa class: £8.00.
Both classes: £12.00. 
Club: £5  

More info >>

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London, EC2Y 9AW

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As we enter into the rainy season, we reflect on the summer days just past. Why not settle down with a cup of tea and remember the sights and sounds of the vibrant carnival season with us.


Proud Interventions

You may remember from our last newsletter that we’d been working hard on a new collection of costumes for an exciting project as part of Brighton Pride 2015, now in its 25th year. Proud Interventions, produced by AndWhatArts, painted a picture of LGBTQI culture through 3 distinct performance sections in the parade.

Animal Kin-Dom – animal costumes determined from the use of animal types in the gay male community, expressing appearance and sexual preferences. This group was formed of volunteers from the local/surrounding areas and was choreographed by Lila Dance. The performers were joined by musicians from Carnival Collective, who provided some great rhythms to dance to.

Monkey Rules – represented the ongoing struggle of the LGBTQI communities, celebrating the anarchic figures that have fought for equality both politically and socially. This group was led by performers from Mimbre Acrobats and Mandinga Arts.

Phallus & Lotus – celebrated differences in sexuality through a cheeky and playful performance by volunteers, choreographed by Lila Dance.

The day was a great success, with an audience of over 160,000 from all over the world, coming to enjoy the extravagant and flamboyant costumes and characters that took part to celebrate the rich diversity of LGBTQI culture.

We had a fantastic time working on this project and would like to share our thanks with Andrew Ellerby (andwhatarts), Carnival Collective, Abi & Kj (Lila Dance), Lina Johansson (Mimbre Acrobats) and all of our incredible performers and volunteers for making this project such a success.

African Summer at the Horniman Museum

Throughout July and August, the Horniman Museum & Gardens re-imagined their rich collection of African artefacts and art through a series of performances, screenings and workshops. We were thrilled to be involved in this programme, having taken so much inspiration from the Horniman’s collections for our own costume designs over the years. Here’s a glimpse of what we got up to this summer at the Horniman Museum:

Community workshops:

Our Artistic Directors, Charles & Julieta (assisted by Ann Le Ny and Cash Aspeek) delivered workshops with local community groups in making & designing costumes, masks, bandanas and flags; all inspired by the African Worlds exhibition at the Horniman Museum. Over 4 weeks, Mandinga Arts worked with RedStart Arts, Mulberry Centre, Age Connection, Southwark Day Centre, the Indoamerican Refugee Migrant Organisation and the Horniman’s Youth Panel to create a colourful and imaginative array of costume pieces to be showcased at a carnival parade – the grand finale to the African Summer programme.

As well as workshops in costume-making and decorations, we held African dance workshops for volunteers taking part in the carnival procession. The workshops, led by established performer Aida Diop, involved high-energy Senegalese choreography that utilised the different elements of each costume that featured in the parade. See our Facebook page for some videos of the workshops.

Puppet Residency:

We held an open-call for 6 artists to join us in a 3-day residency to make a medium scale puppet for the end of summer parade at the Horniman Museum. The standard of applications was extremely high, resulting in a diverse group of artists from different disciplines to design and create an African Lion puppet. We were joined by Gina Dyer (The New Carnival Company), Liz Dees & Charles Huckvale (Hull Carnival Arts), Amber Donovan (Dancing Seagulls), Judith Hope and Elizabeth Johnson.

Our Co-Artistic Director Charles and Artistic Assistant Stella, instructed the artists in cutting & shaping foam to create a wearable structure. This was then adorned with decorations using vacuum-formed foam with different prints and colours. There was a lot of creative problem solving taking place, trialling different methods to attach the decoration and create a mechanism to animate the lion. The artists embraced these challenges innovatively, working cohesively as a team to create this final product, brought to life in performance by Amber, who had helped to create it.


To celebrate the end of this fantastic and engaging programme, the Horniman Museum & Gardens burst into carnival-mode with an extravaganza of live music, performances and 2 carnival parades. The event combined elements of different African Diaspora cultures, creating a feeling of community & togetherness in this beautiful cultural setting.

We were joined by our workshop members donning their flamboyant creations and accompanied by our fabulous volunteer performers led by choreographer Aida Diop, all of whom wowed audiences with their challenging routines. The procession featured live drumming from Sidiki Dembele & Friends, whose energetic beats put the performers through their paces!

We had a wonderful time and would love to thank Aida Diop and all of our performers and artists for making it so much fun; as well as Marie Klimis (Programme Development Co-ordinator) & the Horniman team for involving us on another brilliant project. We can’t wait to work with you again!

Festival Antics

This year, we were lucky enough to be invited to two great festivals – Boomtown Fair and Bestival – bringing carnival arts to music-lovers across the UK.

Boomtown Fair, 13th – 17th August 2015

It was our first outing at Boomtown Fair, which is relatively new having only been established in 2009. It is fast becoming a festival favourite, providing a huge amount of musical and artistic variety to suit all audiences through the different ‘District’ towns. Think of it like a series of theme parks, only a little wilder!

The carnival parade, managed by Andrea Greenwood, involved an incredible array of puppets, performers, musicians and Art Cars representing the different fictional district towns on site, creating a spectacular parade that snaked through the festival. We were joined by Production Manager Jilly Hurden, leading Mandinga’s contribution to the carnival parade with sparkle and glamour, very much like the costume she was wearing.

The parade featured young performers Hype Dance Company who finished the carnival route with an impressive Dance-Off that got audiences cheering! Just take a look at this video.

A huge thanks to Mia & Stasia at Kidztown for being so hospitable and to Andrea Greenwood for putting together such a marvellous carnival parade.

Bestival, 10th – 14th September 2015

We returned to Bestival for our 3rd year to perform in the incredible new Carnivale area, co-produced by Kirsty Henderson and Shademakers. The centrepiece of Carnivale was the Pirate Ship created by Shademakers, which acted as a stage for all sorts of shenanigans. We brought along some fantastic performers to animate the ship dressed as those cheeky monkeys again!

The monkeys also took part in the vibrant daytime carnival parade accompanied by some talented performers from Dance Vibez, who were a burst of colour in our strawberry, pineapple and lotus costumes.

Thanks to Shademakers & Bestival for inviting us to take part, we’d love to come again next year!

Tongan Commission for Night of Festivals

As part of Night of Festivals, ArtReach commissioned artists and performers to make work representing the 5 Nations playing at the Rugby World Cup in Leicester – Argentina, Canada, Namibia, Romania and Tonga. We were delighted to be representing Tonga, through a special costume collection and performance.

Stella, the Artistic Assistant, shares her insight into the designing & making of our newest collection:
The creation of the lion for the Tongan commission stemmed from the deep analysis of Tongan  and Polynesian culture, from exploring the traditional dress and textile art form of ‘Tapas’  to globally identifiable and visually alluring influences in the form of traditional Tongan body art, most notably tribal tattoos. The tattoos stem from a cultural practice of communicating within a small community a unique mark signifying their inherent role within the society that raised them. From researching it
 was interesting to see the adaptation and modernity of these tattoos in Tongan culture. Such traditional 
practices had changed and spoke in a different way, echoing the mass changes of a subculture and community. Incorporating the traditional and new, our puppet needed to possess the spirit of a lion, which epitomised the pride and dynamism of the 
national rugby team and nation with a mane of Tongan culture and history that would dazzle through the streets in Leicester, roaring out and illustrating on a monumental level the beautiful culture from a small pacific island that is somewhat unheard of in western culture.

With the creation of this lion we knew that it would be fundamental to showcase the traditional art of Tonga, so in order to create the visual effect of a mane encased in print Julieta silk screened, on a medium and large scale,directly onto the foam sheets and then  these were cut into geometrical shapes, inspired by the wonderful geometric pattern art of Tongan and Polynesian culture. The main challenge came in the form of painting, we wanting to keep the face distinct as possible with a slow fading into the white of the Tongan pattern printed mane to again show case the fading of tradition into the new and highlight again Tongan’s pride and heritage in one swift motion.
This impressive collection was animated by a group of professional dancers, with choreography by the amazing Theah Dix – I’m sure our audiences will agree that you did an incredible job! You can see the Tongan performance in action here.

We'll be reporting on the event in our next newsletter in January, so be sure to find out what we got up to.

Creative Employment Programme

Our Creative Employment Programme placements, Stella and Nadia, have been with us for nearly six months. As they reach the end of their placements, they reflect on their time with us and what may come next...
Nadia Rich - Project & Administrative Assistant

Working with Mandinga Arts has been the most valuable and rewarding experience of my career so far. I’ve felt privileged to develop my project and production management skills amongst such talented carnival artists and practitioners, working on projects & events of varying scales from conception to delivery.

A highlight of my time with Mandinga has been working with community groups and individuals that are new to carnival through the Night of Festivals touring programme; it’s made me appreciate how transformative the experience can be as people grow more confident and become characters larger than themselves to parade the streets of their home towns in celebration (and often in mischief). This touring project has enabled me to track my development, as I’ve continued to take on more responsibilities and face new challenges with each event and in doing so, gained the confidence I need to progress to my next role.

What Next? I'm delighted to be starting post as Company Administrator with Theatre Peckham.
Stella-Jane Odoemelam – Artistic Assistant

My experience of working at Mandinga Arts can only be described as a small child running away with the circus, or better yet a naïve Alice falling down the rabbit hole; it’s been a truly phantasmagorical experience! I’ve enjoyed collaborating with such a mix of diverse and multi-talented people and engaging in carnival arts on a first hand basis; from creating and working with Charles & Julieta in the studio and going on tour with the whole Mandinga team. I’ve learned so much about their practices and enjoyed taking part in the many parades; having a cheeky dance off with the local communities. From the birth of the fluorescent chicks in the studio to finally seeing the Tattooed lion have its first roar in Leicester, I’ve learned the beauty of carnival arts through making.

I’ve had the opportunity to develop and broaden myself as a young artist and, better yet, now have 6 months’ worth of fun memories and stories to fill from pubs to studio workspaces; as well as a lifetime of knowledge and new skills, a truly special gift any young artist could ask for, to take on to my next big adventure.

What next? I have been the appointed the position of Designer in the Future leaders programme by Global Grooves. This apprenticeship will enable me to learn more about carnival arts & youth project management, with an Arts Award accreditation.
We plan to continue with the Project & Administrative placement through the Creative Employment Programme, commencing March 2016 – keep an eye out on our Facebook page and our next newsletter for more details.

Look Out For

Carnival Presents Exhibition – Rotherham, 8th – 30th October
This exhibition will showcase the work of UK carnival companies over the decades. Mandinga Arts will be exhibiting designs, photographs, costumes and puppets from the extensive archive. It’s a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes of numerous companies’ creations and is not to be missed! For more info, please see the Carnival Presents Facebook event page.

Day of the Dead – British Museum, 1st November
This year, the British Museum is celebrating the Day of the Dead with free events and activities. Mandinga Arts will be leading two carnival parades inside the museum. Expect parades of dancing and mischievous skeletons let loose in the Great Court…Come and join the celebrations! For timings and more information, please see the British Museum website.

Costume Institute of the African Diaspora

Welcome to the CIAD Autumn newsletter

And just like that, the leaves turned and summer is gone, all so fleeting and brief. Not to worry we have plenty to keep you warm, engaged and cerebrally stimulated! First things first, we have new CIAD team members (yaaaayyy!!) Tanya Campbell is our new PR and marketing manager and will be taking over the copy for the newsletter, welcome Tanya good to have you on board. We are still awaiting details of our newest member; brand new baby Uzoh from our southern American correspondant Jodi over there in South Carolina so keep your eyes and ears peeled, we're all wishing her and her husband well.

After a lovely summer we are back with our latest CIAD Exchange lecture The Body Adorned. This time we are talking about hair, adornments and accessories within the African Diaspora. As I'm sure you're all well aware, African hair has a life and power all of it's own, so we felt it was high time for us to speak about it a little bit. Join us on the 30th October as we discuss messages in cornrows and the appropriation of the septum ring amongst other things, get your free ticket for the event here.

As usual we have a choice selection of only the best and most exciting fashion and culture happenings for your consumption below so enjoy. I'm off to practice my B-Boy stance for the Fresh Dressed event, Yeah Boooooyyy (or something!)

Teleica Kirkland
Creative Director

Like CIAD Autumn Newsletter 2015  on Facebook share on Twitter

On Saturday 24th October join We Are Parable as they preview a screening of highly anticipated streetwear documentary “Fresh Dressed” (15) at the Rio Cinema in Dalston, east London. With interviews featuring Pharrell, Kanye and Diddy, this is one film you don’t want to miss! The screening is followed by a panel discussion with some of the UK’s most prominent streetwear experts and an after party at the London Fields Brewery. Get tickets here 

If more high end African fashion is your scene then get yourself over to Accra from 23rd to 25th October for Ghana Fashion and Design Week. GFDW is a globally recognised contemporary international platform for commerce, envisioned to direct lead and promote both emerging and established designers and creative entrepreneurs to a global audience. This year fashion design graduates from Radford University College will be showing their graduate collections at the New Talent Spot held at the event. Click here to get your tickets.

November sees the return of Black History Studies Black Market and Film Festival. Now in it's seventh incarnation where there is always a culturally colourful assortment of beautifully made Africanesque clothes and jewellery as well as a myriad of stalls showcasing African arts & crafts, skincare, hair care, food, books, DVDs, toys & more. Click here for tickets and get yourself down to Platanos College on Clapham Rd, south London to soak up the positive vibes.

Thursday 19th November sees the return of Black Fashion Week now in it's 5 year and sashaying into the fashion capital of Paris. The event runs unitl Saturday 21st November and kicks off with a sumptuous Black and Gold party. Black Fashion Week focuses on all aspects of black fashion and gives a platform to designers, models and stylists of African heritage enabling their creative talents to be showcased to the media and wider fashion industry. Follow the link, pick up a ticket, and we'll see you there!
Copyright © 2015 Costume Institute of the African Diaspora, All rights reserved.

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