SUPPORT OUR INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN:

 

COR/PO - Poetry of a reality, dance of a revolt

 

A project by Joao Paulo Simoes, and Angelina Abel, two artists both born in Angola,

raised in Portugal and now living in Sheffield, UK.

 

We have met  in Sheffield through the arts, common friends and common interests. Joao is an independent film director and I run African fusion dance classes in Sheffield.

One day as I heard the poetry of Mauricio de Almeida Gomes, an exiled writer from Angola and Joao's

grandfather, being recited at a local event, an urge made me want to dance through the pain and hope

transmitted through each spoken word.

 

Each word reminding me, that, like granddad Mauricio so did my family intervene for a better Angola, so was my family persecuted and my ancestors in fact killed due to the civil power of their words.

 

Somehow both me and Joao were eager for this collaboration and project expansion, and, one day, Joao's uncle confirmed that through a particular lineage of my family, we were actually very distant cousins...well, it all made sense.

 

COR/PO was born and reached new dimensions!

 

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MAMAWE - May 2015

by Anne Grange

The gloomy effect of the General Election result meant that I woke up on the morning of MAMAWE! with a heavy heart. The weather wasn’t doing its best either – but MAMAWE! was just what I needed – a day of African drumming and dance, and an evening of performing with dance group Mulembas D’Africa, reggae and boogying into the night. The title of the day, MAMAWE! was just right, as it’s a multi-purpose African expression of frustration, anger or triumph.

 

Sheffield based dance teacher Angelina Abel has been developing MAMAWE! for over two years now. Since establishing African fusion dance classes with live drumming and funky Angolan Kuduru street dance lessons in 2008, she has been on a mission to bring the best African dance and music teachers to South Yorkshire, and has built up a company of dancers who regularly perform at events such as Chance to Dance all over the region.

 

On Saturday 9th May, Angelina brought members of the prestigious Allatantou Guinean dance company all the way from Portugal to teach us in the colourful surroundings of the hall of the Sharrow Old Junior School.

 

Drummer Joao Russo taught a large circle of eager djembe players, from beginners like me, to some of Sheffield’s drum teachers and enthusiasts. For a beginner, it’s sometimes hard to keep up the rhythm – you get absorbed into it, and then suddenly overthink and lose the beat, but there were enough of us to keep up the complex drum-beats, and when Angelina started dancing along, I knew that the overall effect must have sounded good! Joao’s enthusiasm and friendliness was infectious, and he made sure that we played varied drum patterns. I was concentrating so hard, I was amazed that the two hours had gone by so fast, and the drum patterns stayed in my head all day.

 

Read more here - The Random Notebook

 

MAMAWE - Oct 2013 

by Anne Grange

 

A celebration of African Music and Dance.

 

It means “Oh my god, this is all getting too exciting!” Or “Oh my god, this is all a bit too much for me!” I’ve felt like that in both senses recently. But I’m starting to feel a sense of excitement again.

 

Knowing that I’m part of a vibrant community of creative people in Sheffield and beyond really helps, and on Saturday, my friend and amazingly talented dancer, Angelina Abel hosted a celebration of African music, dance and food.

 

Angelina has been teaching dance for over five years now. She had always been a great dancer, and would always try to make me learn moves when we were out together. 

She dragged me to salsa classes, which I wasn’t too sure about, and to bellydance, which I came to love as much as she did.

 

In her Angolan Portuguese family, everyone can dance, and from the start of our friendship, Angelina managed to convince me that I didn’t have two left feet. She’s turned her passion into dedication, getting on National Express coaches at stupid times in the morning to spend her weekends in dance training.

 

And she’s also built her own dance school, Mulembas D’Africa. We’ve performed in Sheffield City centre, Bakewell, and in a gazebo in a muddy torchlit park at Sharrow Lantern Festival. 

Learning to dance has improved my fitness, helped me to make new friends, given me confidence and relieved a lot of stress.

 

Read more here - The Random Notebook