Join creatives from across the globe as they settle down to breakfast with a special guest of their choice. These intimate conversations bring together artists from different sides of the world to discuss culture in the current climate and share how recent events are shaping their creative processes. The programme features Abby Zbikowski (USA) in conversation with Bebe Miller, Gregory Maqoma (South Africa) in conversation with Alfred Enoch; Akram Khan (UK) in conversation with Nish Kumar (UK); Arundhathi Subramaniam (India) in conversation with Alarmél Valli and Lucy Guerin (Australia) in conversation with Amrita Hepi.
Abby Zbikowski in conversation with Bebe Miller +
Gregory Maqoma in conversation with Alfred Enoch +
Akram Khan in conversation with Nish Kumar +
Arundhathi Subramaniam in conversation with Alarmél Valli +
Lucy Guerin in conversation with Amrita Hepi +
Artist biographies +
Abby Zbikowski created her company Abby Z and the New Utility in 2012. She is a 2020 United States Artists Fellow and received the 2017 Juried Bessie Award for her “unique and utterly authentic movement vocabulary in complex and demanding structures to create works of great energy, intensity, surprise, and danger.” In 2018 Dance Umbrella UK awarded her a “Choreographer of the Future” commission. She is an inaugural Caroline Hearst Choreographer-In-Residence at the Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton University (2017-19), current artist in residence at New York Live Arts (2018-20), and has been in residence at Bates Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, and the STREB Lab for Action Mechanics.She is an assistant professor of Dance at the University of Illinois and on faculty at American Dance Festival. She has taught at the Academy of Culture in Riga, Latvia; at Festival Un Pas Vers L’Avant in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and studied at Germaine Acogny’s L’École de Sables in Senegal. Her company has been presented nationally, performing at noteworthy venues such as Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA, and the Fuse Box Festival in Austin, TX, among others.
Bebe Miller first performed her work at NYC’s Dance Theater Workshop in 1978. Her choreography has been commissioned by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Philadanco, the UK’s Phoenix Dance Company and a host of colleges and universities. Since its forming in 1985 Bebe Miller Company has performed nationally and in Great Britain, Europe, South America, Australia, Africa and the Caribbean. Over the last decade the Company has produced a variety of digital archive projects referencing the company’s creative practice. Her latest ebook, How Dancing Is Built: The Making of In A Rhythm, is available online.
Gregory Vuyani Maqoma
Gregory Vuyani Maqoma (b. Soweto, South Africa) started his formal dance training in 1990 at Moving Into Dance where in 2002 he became the Associate Artistic Director. Maqoma has established himself as an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, teacher and director. He founded Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) in 1999. Maqoma is respected for his collaborations with numerous artists. Recent collaborations include William Kentridge’s opera The Head And The Load, Tate Modern and touring to Germany, Austria, Holland and New York (2018); Tree with Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, MIF and the Young Vic (2019). A multi-award winning artist, Maqoma’s recent accolades include a Bessie for his work Exit/Exist (2014) and being honoured as a Chevalier de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Arts & Literature) by the French Government in 2017. His current works Via Kanana and Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero (DU 2019) have been halted from touring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alfred Enoch began acting as a child. His first role in film was ‘Dean Thomas’ in the Harry Potter series. More recently he has starred in Brazilian feature Medida Provisoria, and Tigers. Enoch’s work in Television includes ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, which starred Viola Davis. He has also appeared in Sherlock and Troy: Fall of a City. Last year he starred in the second season of Trust Me on the BBC, and will next be seen in upcoming Apple TV series Foundation. Alfred also has an impressive body of theatre work including Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Tree (Young Vic and MIF); Red alongside Alfred Molina (Wyndhams Theatre); King Lear as Edgar (Manchester Royal Exchange); Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse); Timon Of Athens and Antigone (National Theatre); and The Ballad Of Salomon Pavey (Shakespeare’s Globe). Before the lockdown he was in rehearsals to play Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated dance artists today, building his reputation on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and profoundly moving productions such as XENOS, Until the Lions, Kaash, DESH, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees. Khan’s choreography is the embodiment of shared exploration across multiple disciplines and cultures. As an instinctive and natural collaborator, Khan has been a magnet to world-class artists including dance artists such as Sylvie Guillem, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Israel Galván, visual artists Tim Yip, Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor, and music artists Nitin Sawhney, Kylie Minogue and Florence and the Machine. A highlight of his career was the creation of a section for the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim.
Critically acclaimed comic Nish Kumar has achieved huge success on the stand-up circuit with five rave reviewed solo stand-up shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with two nominations for the prestigious Comedy Award for Best Show (2015 & 2016).
Alongside stand-up Nish is a frequent voice and face across television and radio. Radio includes his own topical show for BBC Radio 4, Spotlight Tonight and hosting for The News Quiz and Newsjack. On screen Nish has appeared on Q.I., Mock The Week & Live At The Apollo both as a stand-up guest and host (all BBC Two), Have I Got News For You & The John Bishop Show (BBC One), 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4), Russell Howard’s Stand-Up for Central, Drunk History, The Alternative Comedy Experience & Live At The Comedy Store (all Comedy Central), Alan Davies As Yet Untitled (Dave) and Taskmaster (Dave). Nish starred with Joel Dommett in a 6-part travelogue for Comedy Central, Joel and Nish vs The World and also hosts his own satirical, spoof, news series, The Mash Report (BBC Two).
This year Nish created a new comedy series ‘Hello America’ for the new American streaming platform Quibi.
Described as ‘one of the finest poets writing in India today’, Arundhathi Subramaniam is an award-winning Indian poet, prose writer on Indian spirituality, critic, curator and poetry editor. Widely translated and anthologised, her book, When God is a Traveller (2014) was the Season Choice of the Poetry Book Society, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her new book of poems, Love Without a Story, is forthcoming from Bloodaxe Books, UK, this November. Her other work includes the acclaimed mystic poetry anthology, Eating God, and the bestselling biography, Sadhguru: More Than a Life and The Book of Buddha. She is the recipient of various awards, including the inaugural Khushwant Singh Prize, the Raza Award for Poetry, the Zee Women’s Award for Literature, the Il Ceppo Prize in Italy, the Mystic Kalinga award, among others. Her collaborations with dancer Alarmel Valli include an acclaimed production on dance and love poetry, Only Until the Light Fades.
Noted for her “ability to turn a traditional grammar into a subtle, deeply internalized, personal dance poetry”, Alarmél Valli’s work has won acclaim in India and at international venues like the Bolshoi Theatre, Theatre De La Ville, Edinburgh Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Avignon Festival, New York International Festival of Arts and the Salzburg Festival. Among several awards received are the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan from the Indian President and the Chevalier of Arts and Letters from the French Government. Documentaries on her include Arun Khopkar’s ‘Pravahi’ for the National Archives, a film by BBC for the Omnibus series and ‘Lasya Kavya’ by Sankalp Meshram.
Lucy Guerin is a Melbourne based choreographer. In 2002 she formed Lucy Guerin Inc to support the creation of new works and to extend the discourse and practice of dance. Born in Adelaide, Australia, Guerin danced with choreographers Russell Dumas and Nanette Hassall. She moved to New York in 1989 for seven years where she performed with Tere O’Connor Dance, the Bebe Miller Company and Sara Rudner, and began to produce her first choreographic works. Guerin has toured her work extensively in Europe, Asia and North America and to most of Australia’s major festivals and venues.
Amrita Hepi (b.1989, Townsville of Bundjulung/Ngapuhi territories) is an artist working with dance and choreography through video, the social function of performance spaces, installation and objects. Utilising hybridity and the extension of choreographic or performative practices, Hepi creates work that considers the body’s relationship to personal histories and the archive. In 2020 she is a Gertrude Contemporary artist in residence and is currently working with Kaldor projects/Serpentine UK as a participating DOit artist. Amrita trained at NAISDA and Alvin Ailey NYC.