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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.



Conceived and directed by: Seke Chimutengwende

Choreography and text: Seke Chimutengwende with the dancers

Dancers (2024 tour): Sharol Mackenzie, Adrienne Ming, Mayowa Ogunnaike, Isaac Ouro-Gnao, and Natifah White

Previous cast members: Rhys Dennis, Rose Sall Sao, and Kassichana Okene-Jameson

Created with input from Alethia Antonia

Dramaturgy: Charlie Ashwell

Lighting design: Marty Langthorne

Costume design: Annie Pender

Composer: Aisha Orazbayeva

Double-bass on soundscore: Hugo Abraham 

Sound technician: Michael Picknett

Vocal coaching: Randolph Matthews

Research consultant for R&D phase: Sita Balani 

Production: Lucia Fortune-Ely, Metal and Water

Production manager 2023/2024: Michael Picknett

Producer 2022 and 2023 Tour Planning: Eve Veglio-Hüner



Upcoming Performances 2024

Wednesday 17th April 2024, Cambridge Junction - link

Saturday 1st June 2024, Brixton House - link

Saturday 8th June 2024, Lakeside Arts, Nottingham - link

Performances 2023

Sunday 8th October 2023, Chapter, Cardiff - link 

Friday 13th & Saturday 14th October 2023, The Place, London - link

Friday 20th October 2023, Lancaster Arts - link

Thursday 26th October 2023, Bath Spa University - link 

Wednesday 17th April 2024, Cambridge Junction - link

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

Access Pack

The booklet New Ways to Access It begins in Darkness is available in print and in audio and has been put together by SoundScribe, a global-majority collective offering audio description and access consultancy. It offers an elaborated experience of It begins in darkness and its making, including exclusive interviews and expanded commentaries on the soundscape.




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

'Listening with' podcast for Bluecoat: 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


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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