CHOREOGRAPHY AND DANCE WORKS
In Transit 2022
18 January – 12 February
16 King Street, Newtown
Saturday, 22 January 2–6pm
In his performative interventions, Lucky Lartey creates imaginary vehicles intended to aid or extend human movement. Using PVC tape, digitally printed cut-outs, and the iconic “Ghana Must Go” synthetic bags the artist creates simple but powerful imagery, charged with manifold narratives.
Sankofa Moving Architecture
Sankofa Moving Architecture is a dance work in development using black and white visual contrast to explore objects in space, the body, the body's relationship to space (positive and negative), and progressively, the relationship between two moving bodies in high contrast space.
Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The literal translation of the word and the mythical bird symbol is “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind” It symbolizes the Akan people’s quest for knowledge among the Akan with the implication that the quest is based on critical examination and intelligent and patient investigation.
With Sankofa at the core of exploration, Lucky Lartey will visit and revisit his traditional culture to inform the learning within and outcomes of this creative development, which in turn will move his practice forward into a new interdisciplinary territory. By blending contemporary dance language and traditional West African Dance practice together to explore the dichotomy between contemporary and tradition, drawing out shape, form, and storytelling while capturing this exploration of aesthetic. Cinema is calibrated to a white body. With a team of diverse bodies, Lartey will explore the unspoken landscape of capturing different bodies and skin tones sharing space in stills and moving images. Lartey will experiment with background colours and chroma keys to learn how to create a resonance between light and dark skin tones to clearly articulate all moving bodies in photography and videography.
Moon Shadows 2020
composed by Chetan Tierra, sound Scott Watterson
The moon has often been used by humanity as a point of focus. From the mere reflection of its image in the night sky to its markers of cycles of ritual and agriculture, nurturing aspects of balance and wellness. The moon is a muse for our collective creativity since our earliest times.
This project responds to the Tierra composition of Moon Shadows, conceived after the composer was experiencing insomnia and going outside at night and looking at the Moon, with sound, movement, and minimalistic lighting, exploring aspects of ritual and spirituality in performance. Conceptually it aims to provide space for time out in the vein of providing pleasure.
Your personal experience will have been effective if you feel uplifted.
Like the beauty of the moon, and its many forms, at the core here is aesthetic, and bringing that into focus for an experience.
The five movements are:
Into the Dark
Scott Watterson Copyright 2020
Full Circle 2019
A personal journey revealing how hip hop has travelled full circle to Africa.
Full Circle draws on Lucky's knowledge of traditional rhythms and dance as well as his understanding of contemporary movement practices to explore the longstanding relationship between hip hop culture and West African storytelling traditions. In this new solo, Lucky takes us on a personal journey revealing how hip hop has travelled full circle to Africa.
“I want to create a work that highlights the tradition of storytelling in West Africa and how it was used to pass on and share knowledge. How this tradition was then adopted by hip hop culture as a tool for survival and a way of giving a voice to marginalised young people”. Lucky Lartey (2018)
Full Circle debuted at PASSING IT ON, FORM DANCE PROJECTS AND RIVERSIDE THEATRES PRESENT DANCE BITES 2019
INFUSION No Movement No Sound 2018
Unique stories told through world music and dance
“Rhythms are how we keep stories and tradition alive and working with multiple traditions of rhythm we can find connections together.” Infusion, No Movement No Sound is a rhythmic assault on the senses, a collaboration of world music and dance, drawing on ancient rhythms and contemporary and traditional West African dance. Lucky Larety and the Jamestown Collective bring audiences an original composition and choreography inspired by traditional African rhythms with new urban beats and contemporary dance. Presenting their own unique exploration of bringing ancient West African rhythms to life through percussion and dance, Infusion, No Sound No Movement looks at ways to reinvent rhythm in a contemporary setting, using ritual, games and everyday music and sounds from life in Ghana to inspire a rich musical and dance landscape.
Infusion, No Movement No Sound premiered at Parramasala in 2018 @ Riverside Theatre
Exotic Bodies 2018
An examination of exotification and contemporary masculinity
Exotic Bodies is a collaboration between dancer and choreographer Lucky Lartey (Australia) and movement artist and choreographer Ming Poon (Singapore/Germany). Exotic Bodies is Ming and Lucky's personal response to being exotified as persons of foreign origins. They want to come together to share their experiences and use them as the materials to create performance. The body is their main subject of investigation, specifically the foreign body as seen through the lens of exotification. Thanks to the Australia Council and Singapore Dance Exchange Fund, Lucky and Ming undertook the first stage development of Exotic Bodies in Singapore in June 2017 and Berlin 2018.
Long Walk 2015
A dance tribute to the legacy of Nelson Mandela
The idea for Long Walk began with Lucky developing movements to Nelson Mandela’s speeches in his private studio work. He then developed the idea further in October 2014 as part of one week choreographic lab at Campbelltown Arts Centre by creating an eight minute solo work using the speeches of Nelson Mandela to embody his words and represent his words using movement and sign language. In doing so Lucky drew on a trajectory of movements from both contemporary dance and Afro-contemporary to inform the way in which the words were represented. Upon being invited to India to develop a solo work Lucky thought it would be a fertile training ground for the further development of Long Walk because of the intimate connection between India and African nations shared legacies of freedom fighting, struggle and resistance and the strong connection between Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. In India, Lucky presented Long Walk as a 15 minute solo at the Attakkalari India Biennial 2015 using original music by Martin Lutz.
Where recycled rhythm and dance collide
Jamestown! premiered at Sydney and Melbourne Fringe Festivals 2015. Jamestown! is an original work and concept developed by Ghanaian born dancer and choreographer Lucky Lartey, in collaboration with the Jamestown Collective - Yacou Mbaye, Ben Kidson and Sally Hare. Jamestown! tells the story of the community of James Town in Accra, Ghana where daily life is filled with vibrant music, rhythm and dance, and where children, musicians and artists create toys, games and instruments from what is available around them.
Jamestown! invites the audience into this vibrant community with its unique sights and sounds using instruments and a set made of recycled materials, live video footage and a fusion of tap, African and contemporary dance and acrobatics. Together, the Jamestown Collective explore the various dimensions of community life – the music, the games and the dances of James Town providing a rare glimpse into the community’s spirit of innovation, creativity and talent. The show includes video footage, photographs and sounds recorded as part of the TUUMATU Festival 2014 and around the James Town area in December 2014.
A uniquely Ghanaian contemporary dance group
Unik Afro is Lucky’s Ghana-based group. Throughout 2010, Lucky developed a number of choreographies for Unik Afro to perform on the Ghanaian reality TV show Boogie Down (Ghana’s version of So You Think You Can Dance) as guest performers for the whole season. The group has played a big role in supporting the introduction of the TUUMATU Creativity, Dance and Music Festival in 2014 and will be performing again at the 2015 Festival. Lucky has worked on a number of key choreographies with the group including Tuumatu a work in progress (2014).