• Home
  • Library
  • Seke Chimutengwende: It begins in darkness

Seke Chimutengwende: It begins in darkness

27 October 2022

Part of Black History Month at the Bluecoat.

Thu 27 Oct 2022, 7pm

It begins in darkness is a dance full of ghosts.

In this stark, stripped back performance, five dancers move through mysterious and experimental rites of passage, channelling past, present and future tensions through their bodies and voices. As if to exorcise the haunted house of history, the dancers whisper, jump, wrestle, shiver, wail and laugh, filling the space with horrors, both real and imagined.

It begins in darkness is an environment for processing the fear, anger and confusion which arise from the histories of slavery and colonialism that haunt the present.

About It begins in darkness

Seke has been researching the connections between horror, haunting and the histories of slavery and colonialism since 2019.

The research has included the writing of a long piece of text, a rehearsal period on Zoom, and a residency at a stately home, alongside work in the studio. This was Seke’s first independently created group piece since 2015, following recent works “Black Holes”, an Afrofuturist duet with Alexandrina Hemsley, “Plastic Soul”, part rock show, part dance solo, and “Detective Work”, a duet with Stephanie McMann about mystery and figuring things out. He has also recently made a new work with Candoco Dance Company.

Image by Jack Barraclough and Karin Xiao


Dancers: Rhys Dennis, Adrienne Ming, Mayowa Ogunnaike, Rose Sall Sao and Natifah White

Conceived and directed by: Seke Chimutengwende

Choreography and text: Seke Chimutengwende with the dancers

Creative input from Alethia Antonia

Dramaturgy: Charlie Ashwell

Lighting design: Marty Langthorne

Costume design: Annie Pender

Composer: Aisha Orazbayeva

Sound technician: Michael Picknett

Producer: Eve Veglio-Hüner

Production manager: Sorcha Stott-Strzala


Arts Council England Project Grants, The Place, Dance4, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Impermanence, Bluecoat, University of Roehampton, Sadler’s Wells and Chats Palace

Initial support from Wainsgate Dances, Battersea Arts Centre and Newstead Abbey/ Dancing Museums