Dr. Patrick Acogny is a Franco-Senegalese choreographer and dancer trained in West African dance, among other things; a teacher-researcher in the Dance in Education department of the ATD and a member of the Embodied Knowledge research group.
The book, Contemporary African Dance Deconstructed is an account of a research trajectory undertaken in collaboration with students and staff of the Bachelor of Dance in Education at the ATD, building on Acogny’s research into African dance techniques for his PhD Dance Studies. The research has evolved over many years of collaboration on transcultural dance practices between Acogny, the Ecole des Sables in Senegal and the Dance in Education department as led by Jopie de Groot with support of colleagues, particularly Lot Siebe.
The publication by Patrick Acogny: Contemporary African Dance Deconstructed, can be ordered online!
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'The gestures of African dance sometimes fascinate and inspire contemporary professional dancers, who recognize their potential, not only for African dance but also for influencing other styles. My African dance classes at the ATD seek to create space and opportunity for dancers to learn and develop their skills as dancers and teachers by assimilating new knowledge, dance principles and aesthetics from Africa.
I believe that the practice of African dance is an activity that goes beyond the barriers of culture and origins. It is not about being “African” or “Westernized”. Teaching African dance does not aim to identify or propose an African essentiality. There is no defining African essence, the African being is diverse and has many individual corporeal manifestations. The poetics of African dance is not only plural, it is also a political and existential utopia that goes further than the borders of the African continent. Indeed, this phenomenon goes far beyond the picturesque, it could well be the emergence of a new humanity, a new breed of dancers and dance landscapes.'
Patrick Acogny Patrick Acogny was asked to conduct practice-based research and to share his way of working and thinking about the dancer’s body in a video document and text. In October 2019 the video ‘African Aesthetics and Contemporary Dance: a practitioner’s perspective’ was released.