Top Up Dancehall Camp (Germany) and its founder Swaggi Maggi invited me to teach a Dancehall Theatre workshop in Berlin earlier this year.
I was extremely excited to share the power of the art form with students, many of who might have never experienced this creative process before. Half a day, that’s all I had to give them a taster of what Dancehall Theatre is / could be, train them up, give them a unique experience AND… create a show! Students were to perform a short extract of the work the day Battles were to take place.
For a very long time I was trying to prepare my class, having too many ideas… I thought to introduce them to some fun stuffs, explore suspense and storytelling, or fiction, or comedy… until I finally came to the conclusion I should just stick to what make me wake up every morning:
CREATING WORK THAT MATTERS AND THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIAL CHANGE.
I am an artist passionate about creating socio-political work. And I have been researching extensivelly the themes of mass incarceration, police brutality and the privatisation of prisons in the USA for about two years.
Top Up Dancehall Camp became a workshop and an adventure not only focussing on the possibilities of Dancehall Theatre but also the power we have as artists to be heard on topics that matter.
Here is a video from the work in progress the students presented after only a few hours of work: