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It begins in darkness is a dance full of ghosts.


In this stark, stripped back performance, five dancers move through a series of 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.




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

Choreography and text: Seke Chimutengwende with the dancers

Created with 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



Performances 2022


Tuesday 27th September - Friday 30th September, The Mount Without, Bristol - link

Tuesday 4th October, The Place, London - link

Tuesday 11th & Wednesday 12th October, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton - link

Thursday 20th October - Nottdance festival, iC4C, Nottingham - link

Thursday 27th October, Bluecoat, Liverpool - link


Supported by:

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





Online panel discussion - "Haunting Newstead Abbey": click here


Video interview with Charlie Morrissey, Wainsgate Dances: click here


Online conversation with Marie-Anne McQuay, Bluecoat, Liverpool: click here


Black Newstead exhibition at Newstead Abbey, 2021

Exhibition of photos by Ben Harriott & Amanda Russell, from Seke and the dancers' residency at Newstead Abbey.

2nd October - 21st November 2021

More info

Choreographic Score

Below is a reading of a choreographic score, written as part of Seke's research, which was included in the online symposium 'Proximity: new directions in art and social repair', organised by Migrant Artists Mutual Aid.

The score was written during the 2020 pandemic, as a kind of hallucination of what the piece would become. It was later used as a guide when creating the piece in the studio.


Read the full score here.

In performance (2022)

Photos by Jemima Yong

In rehearsal (2021)

Photos by Liam Keown

Dancers (clockwise from top): Rose Sall Sao, Natifah White, Adrienne Ming, Adrienne Ming & Rhys Dennis, the whole group, Alethia Antonia

It begins in darkness

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