Pop Up Duet: Dance performance starring Yuma Sylla & Melina Sofocleous


29 July 2023

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Venue Leeds Art Gallery

Tags Adult, Art, Event, Performance,

Please book ahead for this event here.

Behold a playground of dance and sound. 

Twins from another galaxy, ninjas outrunning reality, or cats with musical vocality. 

Whatever they may be they are expressing the finer and darker things in life. 

From their twists and turns, their highs and lows, witness their ebb and flow in a psychedelic exploration.

Following the Beatmotion workshop earlier in the day with Akeim Toussaint Buck, audiences are invited to experience a new dance work choreographed by Akeim and starring two hugely exciting dance talents – Yuma Sylla & Melina Sofocleous. At the heart of this performance is improvised creative play guided by the practice of Beatmotion, which involves merging vocal sounds with dance. The performance will take place in the Leeds Art Gallery’s light-filled Victorian Central Court gallery.

This performance has been programmed as part of a season of evets, workshops and performances at the gallery exploring the freedom and play inherent in improvisation. This season has been programmed in connection with the exhibition ‘Sonia Boyce: Feeling Her Way’. The artist Sonia Boyce is interested in how music can reduce the emotional distance between people, evoke memories and build solidarity and community among individuals.

Choreographed by Akeim Toussaint Buck in collaboration with Yuma Sylla and Melina Sofocleous.

Director: Akeim Toussaint Buck

Creative Producer: João Maio

Costumes: Audrey Mae

Funded by Leeds Inspired

Film: © Maria Alzamora

More information about the dancers:

Yuma Sylla

Yuma (she/they) is a freelance movement artist based in Leeds. After graduating from LCDS (The Place), they continue with MA at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, and join Phoenix Dance theatre, touring their 40th-anniversary program around the UK. Yuma is currently performing with Ramped, a community interest company focused on advancing accessibility as well as exploring the relations of communities and spaces we inhabit. They are also collaborating with artist Mandy El-Sayegh, exploring the deconstruction of political bodies and artworks. Yuma enjoys researching relations between identity and improvisation.

Melina Sofocleous

Born and raised Cypriot dancer, Melina Sofocleous, trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. Melina has collaborated with choreographers and companies across Europe, Scandinavia and Cyprus, including in La Bienale Di Venezia, 3 years in a row, as a performer and as a choreographer. Melina’s choreographic work has also premiered with Platforma, Cyprus. Most recently Melina has been performing with Phoenix Dance theatre and Francesca Foscarini in the duet “Punk kill Me Please”.

Image: Alex Prince Illustration

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