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The story of BATUKE! Festival
The Batuke! Festival started out of our passion for the music and dance of Afro - Portuguese countries. We realised that there is a special rapport and connection between all the Portuguese speaking countries, a recognition of common experiences through music and dance. In 2010, when we started there was no platform in the UK where Afro - Portuguese artists were represented, the community could experience their culture in a professional space, young and old, and share their common heritage. So, we decided to just go ahead and do it ourselves! We self produced initially through our regular events. It was very risky, but we believed in it so we made it work! The team derived from Iris De Brito social dance school at the time - Studio Afro Latino. Roles were delegated, artists contacted, plenty of volunteering support and voila! We became the go - to festival in the UK representing Afro-Portuguese culture, created a space for artistic development, cultural exchange and research. Guest artists came from the USA, France, Senegal, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique and the UK. We were founded by the Arts Council for 5 years and developed creative partnerships.
In 2019 we achieved a fantastic milestone with our 10th Anniversary and decided to have a break.
We are now looking towards developing a new event, investing in organisational development and research. Make sure you continue to follow us and connect with us through Afro - Portuguese culture!
Acogny technique // Live drums
Born in Harare, raised in Brussels and trained in London, Alesandra is the Artistic Director of Vocab Dance Company, the company is renowned for its multidisciplinary and outspoken works, creating distinctly Afro-European dance theatre since 2007. In 2011, Alesandra was selected by Germaine Acogny ‘mother of African contemporary dance’, to be part of the transmission of her technique. Alesandra is the only UK dance artist to be a certified Germaine Acogny teacher & ambassador.