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Lewis Wilkins and Frank Mugisha

Residency: Decolonising the body with contact improvisation and East African dance 

The residency will focus research on Contact Improvisation (CI) as a cross-cultural practice.  Both artists have a high degree of training, expertise, and experience in the field of improvisation and the residency will focus on developing a collaborative relationship that goes beyond simply celebrating cultural difference. Through shared artistic practice the ambition is to expand their understanding of what contact improvisation can be, how it can be practiced, taught, and facilitated, and how it can intersect with and relate to traditional east African dance forms.  

There are strong connections in the CI community across the Americas, Europe and Asia, with festivals and events attended and co-organised by people from across these continents. The CI scene in Africa is comparably small and isolated. This collaboration will support a larger mission for linking contact improvisation in East Africa with the rest of the global community. In the near future they plan to co-host CI focussed movement and choreographic workshops in East Africa, with the long term goal of establishing an annual CI festival in East Africa that will be attract practitioners worldwide.


More About Lewis Wilkins and Frank Mugisha

Lewis has worked as a performer and collaborator with various choreographers and companies including Jean Abreu, Richard Alston Dance Company, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Riccardo Buscarini, Tom Dale, Stephanie Dufresne, The National Theatre, Bregenzer Festspiele Opera, Scottish Dance Theatre, Léa Tirabasso, and TrashDollys. He teaches for companies including Scottish Dance Theatre, Vocab Dance, and DV8 Physical Theatre and is a regular teacher and guest faculty member on degree programmes at London Studio Centre, Rambert School, University of Limerick, and London Contemporary Dance School. Lewis has also taught and choreographed at European dance festivals such as Pyrenees Dance, Agitart Figueres Es Mou, and B12 Berlin. 

Frank Mugisha is a Rwandan-Ugandan multidisciplinary artist working in East Africa and beyond. He fuses contemporary dance, breakdance, and African traditional dances to create a unique artistic identity. As a creative facilitator, filmmaker, educator, and performer, Mugisha uses his art as a tool for self-expression and vehicle for social change. His work has sent him all around the world and he is the founder and artistic director of the Instinctual Arts Company based in Kigali, Rwanda. In February 2022, together with his team, Mugisha successfully ran the first edition of the Instinctual Arts Festival in Kigali, Rwanda. 


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Left image: YamahaDancersPhotoshoot-ForDancers(@jacklewiswilliams)

Right image: Image by Dan Lowenstein

Lewis And Frank()