Seke Chimutengwende and Alexandrina Hemsley
Seke Chimutengwende and Alexandrina Hemsley adapt their stage show Black Holes into an audiobook with a new, immersive sound world designed by Xana. Calling in the potentials and problematics of Afrofuturism, Black Holes weaves together collaged, poetic text and soundscapes to retell the origin of the universe from big bang to the universe’s death; disrupting dominant, colonial narratives of knowledge production and ‘origin stories’, searching for hopeful possibilities amidst past and present dystopias.
Black Holes shifts between real, imagined, non-linear, polyphonic, multi-temporal, multi-locational landscapes. Speculating on how to be with our bodies that carry histories of marginalisation and anti-blackness, we combine Science Fiction and personal narrative to propel the personal and mythic onto a cosmic scale.
Written and performed by Seke Chimutengwende and Alexandrina Hemsley
Sound Design by Xana
Text support by Season Butler
Black Holes Stage Show (2018) was Co-Commissioned by Cambridge Junction, The Place and Chisenhale Dance Space. Supported initially by a 2016 Seed Commission for BAME artists from Camden People’s Theatre and supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Additional support from Trinity Laban and Greenwich Dance
Seke studied dance at Lewisham College 1999 – 2001 and London Contemporary Dance School 2001 – 2004. He has performed for companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre and Lost Dog and has performed solo and group improvisations internationally since 2006. . His choreographies include The Time Travel Piece (runner-up Place Prize 2012) and Black Holes, a collaboration with Alexandrina Hemsley (British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase 2019). Seke is currently researching a new group choreography looking at ghosts and haunted houses as metaphors for how histories of slavery and colonialism haunt the present. Since 2018, Seke has worked as a movement director for theatre productions at The Yard Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre and The Gate Theatre. Seke teaches improvisation and choreography at London Contemporary Dance School and The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.
Alexandrina’s creative practice lands in the fluid spaces of dance, choreography, writing, facilitating and advocacy. Their interests are both enduring and in expansive states of flux – or just in connection/relation to the processes within life and within living. They turn towards the sensorial, the bodily, the multiple subjective positions of self – and self in intimate relation to self and other-selves – as ways to find breath and voice amidst the unjust and inequitable.
Alexandrina has recently founded her own organisation Yewande 103. Yewande 103 formalises the past 10+ years of her work in the contemporary dance field as a choreographer, performer, writer, mentor and educator. Yewande 103 lives as compassionate, embodied advocacy in action, through choreography, writing, production, artist support and development of mental health discourse.
Xana is a sound designer/artist, live loop musician, composer, performer, theatre maker and poet whose works intersect with theatre, film, live performance and tech. Xana’s creative work focuses on archives and embodying our future narratives and memories through sci-fi, magical realism and blending their genre’s orchestral noise/thick bass. Xana’s debut show Swallowing Your Idols is being created at Ovalhouse Theatre, where they are an Associate Artist. Xana is co-organiser of Afrotech Fest, publishes the children’s comic Afronaut Squad and was a 2020 Offie-finalist for Best Sound Design.
Theatre credits: Chicken Burger and Chips (Brockley Jack Theatre), The Body Remembers (Fuel Theatre); Ivan and the Dogs, Fairview (Young Vic); Strange Fruit (Bush Theatre); Grey, Just Another Day and Night (Ovalhouse); Nightclubbing (Tour); Pink Lemonade (Gate Theatre); Mapping Brent Festival, Blood Knot (Orange Tree Theatre); SEX SEX MEN MEN (Pecs Drag Kings/Yard Theatre); Noughts and Crosses (Pilot/Derby Theatre); Burgerz (Hackney Showroom); Obama and Me (Talawa); Black Holes (The Place); Hive City Legacy (Roundhouse); seeds, Half-breed (Soho Theatre) Primetime (Royal Court Theatre).
Writer/Actor credits: Swallowing Your Idols (Ovalhouse); Asian Pirate Musical (Vaults)