Ahead of his Dance Umbrella Festival debut at Watermans Arts Centre on 16 October, we spoke to dance artist Dani Harris-Walters about his inspirations, influences and his work Happy Father’s Day.
What was the catalyst for creating Happy Father's Day?
The catalyst for creating Happy Father’s Day was to engage with men of BAME backgrounds of all ages in a fun and entertaining way.
Which dance artists have influenced you the most?
Too many to name 🙈 I believe inspiration and influence can come from anyone. To be honest a lot of my own dance students have influenced this piece. In saying that, I must give mentions to Bismark Anobah, Botis Seva, Joseph Toonga, Kenrick Sandy, Kloe Dean and Tony Adigun – being able to work with these artists over my career and with the work they produce at present helps motivate me to dream and aim higher.
Which dance piece has left the biggest impact on you?
Company Wang Ramirez’s AP15, the movement quality and textures were amazing.
What are the themes and ideas you find yourself re-visiting in your work?
Relatability! I think it’s very important to create work that relates to the audience. Whether it’s the use of comedy in the narrative, or the use pop culture movement (Tik Tok dances etc.)
What is your go-to warm-up song before you perform on stage?
At the moment it’s Thundercat, Black Qualls