Alethia and Rhys.JPG

Alethia Antonia & Rhys Dennis. Photo: Liam Keown

It begins in darkness is a dance full of ghosts.


In this stark, stripped back performance, five dancers move through 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

Conceived and directed by: Seke Chimutengwende

Choreography and text: Seke Chimutengwende with the dancers

Creative 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

Thursday 3rd October, The Place, London

Dates tbc - Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton

Dates tbc - Nottdance festival, Nottingham

Thursday 27th October, Bluecoat, Liverpool


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

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

2nd October - 21st November

More info


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.

In rehearsal

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