The Shifting Traces: Contemporary Dance In and Outside of Africa blog is about shifting center, physically and technologically. It is aligned with the contemporary dance work from Africa touring the globe and asking audiences worldwide to rethink their assumptions about Africa. I am interested in how cyber technology and web-based communities can be generative spaces for artistic exchange and innovation. The traces we are leaving here on video will be resources for global audiences, presenters, choreographers, dancers, as well as people who know very little about dance, and the very dancers who are very involved in the cotemporary dance movement and featured in the videos. This spring in my course at The Ohio State University my students will test out some global collaborations with dancers based in Senegal, Kenya, and Burkina Faso. We will utilize the Internet and the technology means we have access to, in order to create dialogue and test out artistic exchange and collaboration via cyberspace.

We will also have an upcoming cyber conference where several of the choreographers featured on this blog will log in from their specific locale to give a lecture, a comp class, a technique class, an informal performance, a short interview that will be accessible globally. This upcoming event date is till to be determined.

Thank you for your reading and comments.

Respectfully Submitted by: Esther Baker-Tarpaga

  1. Hi Esther,
    This is an awesome idea. For myself as a dance practitioner, its a way to reconnect visually/orally with whats happened/will happen/is happening; emerging, reconstructing, maintaining, innovating, connecting and/or changing perceptions of Africa’s dance artists and their practice.

    Awesome and exciting blog!


  2. hello there. Thank you for the development of this website, it is very interesting to see what artists are developing in Africa. I am a masters student at UCT School of Dance and at the moment I am working on my thesis. I would like to have your contact information so I could send you an email and ask for your advice and feedback that will help on my research.

    Thank you


  3. I am inspired by your work. Saw it on OSU Dance Department website. I graduated OSU Dance in 1976. My website is under construction. I have been an actor, and visual artist, now returning to my roots…modern dance.

  4. matilda says:


    I was reading about you and the coreographer Hind Benali and I’m wondering if I can find any email adresses to both of you? Im a dancer and teacher in modern contemporary and jazz dance in Stockholm, Sweden and I will probably move to Casablanca this summer. I would appreciate any information about dance in Casablanca.

    Kind regards,

  5. Rachel Kessi says:

    Hi Esther,

    I just came across this wonderful blog of yours. I help setup the Visa 2 Dance festival in Dar es Salaam Tanzania every year. We are hoping to have the directors of the 3 East African contemporary dance festivals perform together this year (Aloyce Makonde-TZ, Jonas Byaruhanga-UG and Kefa Oiro-KY). Please have a look at our website http://www.visa2dance.com
    Keep up the great work! Thank you.

    Best wishes

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