Updated: Apr 15, 2021
FUBUNATION is a London based collective founded in 2017 by Rhys Dennis and Waddah Sinada with the vision of adding to black culture by creating more visibility and representation for dancers of colour in contemporary dance. Their objective is to build more diversity in the audiences that come to theatres and other dance platforms. As the current Artists in Residence at IRIE! dance theatre (2020-2022), they shared their journey with us and their exciting news on the way!
Read our Interview with FUBUNATION:
1. How did Fubunation start? How did you meet each other?
FUBUNATION started with company directors Rhys Dennis & Waddah Sinada noticing the lack of black led organisations within the contemporary dance industry. They decided to make work that speaks to the black experience whilst creating more visibility for people of colour within the arts. They became good friends after meeting through a secondary school dance competition which they competed in as a school group (and won). Both Rhys and Waddah continued to actively pursue dance through community led troupes and dance initiatives where they engaged in street and Hip-Hop styles before taking an interest and pursuing contemporary dance as a part of their training. They both went on to study vocationally at The Place (London Contemporary Dance School) and now fuse all the styles they have been exposed to within their professional practice.
2. What’s your contribution to the dance sector?
As a multi-disciplinary organisation, FUBUNATION has curated events centred around the companies last work 'Ruins' presenting live-performance, photography exhibitions and film installations at London venues The Roundhouse & The Velorose Gallery. They thrive off collaborating with different art mediums which tends to feed their practice and in turn allows them to offer new ways for audiences to engage with dance outside of the traditional black box performance setting. FUBUNATION are always seeking new and interesting ways to engage with dance within the sector and offer something different. The company has a focus on creating work that continues to feel raw, authentic and true to their experiences in and of the world.
3. Your movement language combines a variety of dance styles, such as Hip-Hop and African Dance. Can you share with us more details about your movement vocabulary?
FUBUNATION's movement language combines contact partner work forms from contemporary dance and a strong sense of dynamic movements which originate from their background in Hip-Hop. Within their work they enjoy playing with an array of rhythmical foot patterns which is influenced from various African dance styles. As FUBUNATION's movement practice develops they continue to find new ways to create a fusion between the 3 and welcome any new movement that may arise to continue to develop their vocabulary whilst pushing them to seek something new.
4. What are your main inspirations in the arts sector?
Collectively artistic directors R & W are heavily inspired by natural human behaviours and the subtleties in the everyday lives of people. Within their performative work they always strive to connect with a real human experience so that the work can be relatable on a universal scale.
5. What is the best memory in your career?
Rhys: My favourite memory would be the performance of 'Ruins' in the dungeon of Shoreditch Town Hall for the Talawa Firsts Festival in 2019. It was the most intimate experience I have had with the audience in performing this work, they were extremely close and so reactive to each moment in the performance... It was thrilling!
Waddah: My favourite memory was premiering and selling out The 'Ruins' Series at Roundhouse London in 2019. It was a massive feat for the company as we had curated, created and featured in the work and demonstrated to ourselves the limitless possibilities that come with drive and determination. It was an awesome experience to take over three spaces in such an iconic venue and somehow pull it off.
6. You are Artists in Residence and Lecturers at IRIE! Dance theatre? How’s your experience so far?
FUBUNATION are so grateful to be a part of the IRIE! Dance theatre family, there is a special kind of energy in the building that is so culturally rich for a University experience. All of the young artists there are so talented and eager to learn and progress and we always look forward to sharing our practice with the students on a weekly basis, pushing them in the studio and seeing them grow over time. Since becoming resident artists at IRIE! it has given us the space and time to grow FUBUNATION into an organisation with a huge amount of support from Directors Beverly and Rosie.
7. Do you have an advice for emerging artists?
Our advice for emerging artists would be: create, collaborate and stand for what you believe in.
8. Do you have news and upcoming events to share with us?
Tickets are on sale for FUBUNATION's Livestreamed performance of 'Ruins' as a part of the Black British Dance Platform 'Lets Dance International Frontiers' on the 30th April @ 7.45pm. Tickets available via curveonline.co.uk