A Very British Rhythm - a celebration of the contribution of people of colour to 250 years of British dance history

This innovative new project is co-curated by Farooq Chaudhry OBE of Akram Khan Company & Samenua Sesher OBE of Museum of Colour.

12 April 2024 Posted by One Dance Team


A Digital Exhibition by Museum of Colour, to be launched on 30th April 2024.

A Very British Rhythm is the latest project from Museum of Colour, the groundbreaking digital museum and live event showcase that celebrates the contribution of British people of colour to UK Arts and culture over the past 250 years. A Very British Rhythm (AVBR) shines a spotlight on the invaluable contributions of British dancers and choreographers of global majority heritage over 250 years of British dance history. Curated by Farooq Chaudhry OBE (Akram Khan Company) and Samenua Sesher OBE (Museum of Colour), this ambitious project celebrates the rich heritage and oft-hidden legacies which deserve recognition. AVBR will see a mixture of live events, community participation and a prestigious new work from celebrated choreographer Sharon Watson MBE, and dance luminaries of colour who have contributed to the project include David Hamilton MBE and Greta Mendez MBE.

Farooq Chaudhry, producer at Akram Khan Company, says,

“The experience of co-curating "A Very British Rhythm" has been immensely humbling. At times, I had to pinch myself as I engaged with these icons and superheroes who illuminated my life, leading to my own lifelong love affair with dance. They reinforced my belief that histories are not just about studying the past, but also an explanation of the present and future.

Each artist has a unique story to tell, and their energy and artistry have sprinkled magic into the history of dance in the UK, making it the vibrant, dynamic, relevant art form that speaks to us and of us today. Their contributions cannot be underestimated, and I believe the digital museum will go a long way in filling the missing gaps in our history, ensuring they continue to inspire and embolden the dance artists of colour now and into the future.”

Museum of Colour is a digital museum complemented by live and community events and exhibitions, and has actively engaged with the community through live events, fostering a vibrant celebration of dance in all its diversity. Samenua Sesher, the founder and director of Museum of Colour, takes a moment to highlight some of the project's most memorable moments.

“We have loved delivering this exhibition. As well as shaping the online content, the people of Folkestone embraced our theme for their annual Charivari carnival, the people of London came to our Bollywood, Afrobeat and Classical Chinese themed Mix and Move workshops at the Southbank Centre, and the people of Leeds came out for Ageless at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. We have all given each other a much-needed reminder of the joy and power of coming together with people across ages and ethnicities to engage and participate in dance.”

A Very British Rhythm Preview at Sadler's Wells, 29th April 2024 4:30 - 7:30 PM.

The Exhibition Preview, taking place on International Dance Day at Sadler’s Wells, celebrates the launch of A Very British Rhythm. The preview will feature an 'In Conversation' segment with Rob Jones, associate artistic director at Sadler's Wells, and A Very British Rhythm co-curators Farooq Chaudhry and Samenua Sesher. Additionally, researcher Debanjali Biswas will provide a compelling presentation, offering unique insights into the project's research.

Guests can also gain an exclusive preview of our first virtual exhibit to be launched on the Curatours platform – Curatours x Respect Due (Museum of Colour’s second exhibition curated in 2020). Visitors will be able to explore the exhibit, listen to podcasts, read interviews, and examine artefacts, all within the Curatours virtual space. This exciting virtual experience highlights the journey that Museum of Colour is taking into the digital realm, significant because it opens up new avenues for accessibility, inclusivity, and the preservation of cultural heritage in an increasingly digital world.