During a three-week residency at Chapter Arts in Cardiff Wales, through a series of exploratory workshops, the urban ink Arrivals ensemble led by Diane Roberts with collaborating artists Chimwemwe Miller, Liliona Quarmyne, Danielle Smith and judy mckinley engaged in an artistic exchange with four members of the Alajotas Dance Company from Ibadan Nigeria as well as local and visiting artists. Our ancestral exploration spanned the territories of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Ghana, Malawi, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Senegal and Uganada.
Using the Arrivals Personal Legacy process as a jump-off point we explored ancestry, rhythm, ritual and voice grounded in Black Atlantic performance traditions. The Alajotas brought traditional and folk dances, rhythms, rituals and contemporary theatre and storytelling techniques to share. Out of this exploration Atlantic Project was birthed, a multi-disciplinary and intercultural performance piece, and a joint methodology for the creation of African and African diaspora works.
In the first two weeks, we discussed, exchanged communal gestures and created within a shared “borderless village” searching for answers to questions about our respective creative methodologies. In week three we opened the workshop up to Cardiff based artists of African, Caribbean and Welsh descent. The Cardiff artists presented their work to us in an open workshop style and, as a result, we invited them to participate in the final showcase for the public.