Hughes: Dreams Deferred

Wed
01st March 2017 19:30
Wiltons Music Hall
1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel, London E1 8JB
 What happens to a dream deferred?

The epicentre of Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes’ rhythmic, urgent poetry empowered a generation of new writers, with an aftershock that still reverberates today. His work was full of music and dance, and described the Black American experience over decades. Characterised by narratives of empowerment and a belief in humanity, he celebrated Black identity in a unique and powerful way.

Exploring Hughes' life and artistic potency, we join forces with electric and progressive dance organisation East London Dance, and the exhilarating brass and woodwind ensemble Kinetika Bloco to remember this remarkable voice through music, dance and poetry, creating a celebration worthy of a cultural king. Poetry will be performed by the celebrated poet Kayo Chingonyi, with East London Dance presenting dance by choreographer Jade Hackett.


Diran Adebayo is a novelist and cultural critic best known for his chronicling of Afro-British lives, and his distinctive, rhythmic prose. His debut, the  Some Kind of Black, won numerous awards, including the 1996 Saga Prize, a Betty Trask Award, and The Authors' Club's 'Best First Novel' award. It is now a Virago Modern Classic. As a critic, he's written extensively in the national press and he teaches Creative Writing at Kingston University. He credits Langston Hughes as being the first writer to make him cry as an adult.

Kayo Chingonyi is a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry and the author of two pamphlets, Some Bright Elegance (Salt, 2012) and The Colour of James Brown’s Scream(Akashic, 2016). His first full-length collection, Kumukanda, will be published in June 2017 with Chatto & Windus. He was Associate Poet at the Institute of Contemporary Arts from Autumn 2015 to Spring 2016.

Jade Hackett is a choreographer and dancer. She creates thought-provoking and politically relevant dance work which pushes the boundaries of hip-hop dance theatre whilst addressing key issues relating to black diaspora.

East London Dance is the leading producer of creative dance experiences for the people of East London and beyond, bringing dance to people and people to dance. Collaborating widely, they produce ambitious performances alongside projects to get all ages dancing and uncover diverse artists, develop their careers and watch them fly.

Kinetika Bloco is a performance group with an exuberant mix of young brass and woodwind players, drummers, steel pan and dynamic dancers all in costume. They draw influences from the Caribbean, Brazil, West and Southern Africa, New Orleans jazz, Funk and Hip Hop, headlining at the Roundhouse and representing the UK at Beijing Olympic Festival.

Caramel Soldier and Vanessa Williams image © Alex Lake
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