Dancing Dialogues: an online sharing and discussion

Saturday 17th February, 2pm to 5.30pm, on Zoom

You are warmly invited to attend and participate in this free online sharing and discussion event as part of the AHRC-funded network project ‘Dancing Dialogues’. The project aims to research traditional, folk, and national dance groups of all cultural identities, to facilitate discussion and sharing between dancers and academics. We are working directly with groups in three regions of England, the South East, Midlands, and South West, though for this online event we welcome participants from any part of the country, or internationally.

The event will have talks and provocations from two keynote speakers, Jomhs Jaramillo, Director of the Renacer Ecuadorian folk dance group, in conversation with Sofie Narbed, Royal Holloway; and Iris De Brito, International Dance artist and creative artistic director and programmer of BATUKE! International festival in the UK. They will focus on our research questions, listed below. Participants will have opportunities for response.

This will be followed by practitioners or dance groups showing 5 minutes of video of their dancing focusing on a specific aspect of training for or learning the dance. The event is aimed at both dancers and academics to share and discuss the place that practising traditional, national, and ‘folk’ dances play in our lives.

Our three research questions are:

  • What role do distinct traditional and national dances play for groups and communities in negotiating embodied identity in England today?
  • How are notions of regional location, site, and geography central to extending our understanding of dance as contextual to the idea of ‘Englishness’?
  • How have groups adapted, created, and survived during and post the pandemic?

We will be addressing these and other questions during the event. For more information on the project, please see our website: Dancing Dialogues (dancing-dialogues.net)

We particularly welcome contributions from dancers and artists. If you would like to share 5 minutes of your work including video (or this could be an entirely pre-recorded video), please email us at dancingdialogues@rhul.ac.uk.

There are other ways you can participate in the project, including placing your group on an interactive map, and filling in a questionnaire. Please see the website for more details.

Registration is free, but you must register to receive the Zoom link. Please use the following link: https://drama.exeter.ac.uk/whatson/index.php#2483

We look forward to your participation in the event.

Project team members: Dr Libby Worth, Professor Jerri Daboo, Dr Rosa Cisneros.


Presentation with Iris De Brito on African-Portuguese traditional dance followed by Q and A.

"How can I talk about African-Portuguese traditional dances and its contribution to the contemporary dance sector when, amongst the vastly underfunded African-Caribbean forms, there's a lack of nuance?... How do the contributions of artists that appear "transient" in the mapping landscape of dance in the UK make it into the archive?... Perhaps one needs to understand the broad definition of "folk" dance and reflect on the importance of recognizing that culture moves constantly through underground networks that influences and impacts the sector. This is a vision that appears blurred by dance hierarchies..."


Iris De Brito: Iris is a multi-faceted dance artist who specializes in movement from the African diaspora. She has worked in professional dance theatre companies, TV and festival touring. Highlights include dancing at Evita - the film with Madonna, producing El Barrio - The Musical; receiving One Dance UK fellowships, writing a documentary, being creative artistic director and programmer of BATUKE! International festival in the UK, in receipt of Arts council funding. Iris has taught in the educational sector in London for over 10 years. Currently, Iris divides her time between Lisbon and London with different partnerships and projects including being project manager for Batoto Yetu PT, Workshop facilitator at NOVA University executive program and recently awarded funding to train in Senegal at the famous Ecole Des Sables. Iris is currently working towards a tour of her dance theatre piece “3 Cores Negras” which she’s developing through artistic development programmes.

Presentation with Jomhs Jaramillo and Sofie Narbed on Renacer – Ecuadorian dance in London followed by Q and A.

Jomhs and Sofie first met twelve years ago as part of Sofie’s MA research into Ecuadorian dance in London. Over a summer spent rehearsing and performing at community events, wrestling with suitcases of wollen ponchos and furry zamarros, and sharing Ecuadorian feasts, Sofie learnt of the passion and dedication it takes to create groups like Renacer and the great importance of dance practice for sustaining communities and identities. In conversation today, they will explore Jomhs' experiences of making and disseminating Ecuadorian dance in the UK, thinking about the role of material culture, of family and community connection, and about dance as a practice of both continuity and evolution.

Jomhs Jaramillo: Born in Quito, Ecuador, I came to live in London in 1997 at the age of 27. In my home country I was always a great enthusiast of Ecuadorian culture and, from the age of 15, becoming a folk dancer allowed me to explore and express that passion. In 2010 I started a dance group called "Renacer" (meaning ‘to be reborn’) here in London. Since then we have performed at many different venues within and outside the capital, and are proud to contribute to Ecuadorian and Latin American communities here with our dance.

Sofie Narbed: Sofie is a lecturer in Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research explores dance as a practice of relationality and world-making, particularly as it relates to feminist and decolonial politics in Latin America. She is currently working on an ethnographic monograph about contemporary dance worlds in Quito, Ecuador. She is also training as a somatic movement educator with the School of Body-Mind Centering.