The Idea: African Connections was a project which explored the links between traditional African dances and contemporary social dances. It led to the creation and exhibition of 24 Batiks plus the creation of 24 flick books illustrating the chosen dances..
You will find a full description of African Connections under Dance by clicking here.
African Connections took place over 5 years - it started with research - followed by bringing the artists together to work on the dances. Once the dances were agreed upon work on the Flick Books and the Batiks started.
African Connections was an unique project in that involved collaboration between dancers, experts in black dance, and visual artists.
The Batiks were created by Jan Green. Jan was born and educated in Liverpool, though her grandparents came from Antigua, a place she visits regularly. In 1972 she moved to North Wales. In 1985 Jan studied Art and Design, specialising in textiles, at Wrexham College Art College and went on to produce work which drew on Celtic and Ethnic imagery. She first worked with the Black-E in 1989.
Above Jan working with H Patten, Bill Harpe, Peter Badejo and Maria Agatha on African Connections
The batiks were designed to be exhibited in two parallel lines with African dances on one side and European dances on the other. And indeed this is how they were first shown but we have no photographs of this.
The Batiks below are set up in their pairs. Currently they are all named apart from one pair - we are still working on this.
Above left Idcobale from the Yoruba people of Nigeria matched to Street Dance from the late 80s.. Above right Kroso Northern Nigeria matched to Jive from the 50s.
Above left Headbanging (70s) matched to Yaduyadu from South Africa and above right Pogo from the late 70s matched with Borano from Kenya.
Above left the Kete from South Ghana matched against the Hand Jive from the 50s. Above Right is currently unknown.
Above left Disco matched with the Utando Upala from South Africa and above right The Locomotion from the 60s and the Vimbuza from Central Africa
Above left the Kitchen from South Africa matched against Break Dancing. Above right the Simdimba from Tanzania matched with House from the 80s
Above left Skank matched against the Gahu from Ghana. Above right Butterfly from the Caribbean matched with Butterfly as a social dance of 80s
The Batiks on Display
The Exhibition - that is the Batiks and The Flick Books is available for touring.