Movement Artistry &
Choreography 



“The responsibility to transform our inner narrative is accepted when the tools to do so are discovered. 

The need not to suffocate  the cultural universe that is in us but instead replacing it with its acceptance and its enhancement, is an urgent element especially among those considered Body of Cultures.”



 2024 // Constellations - Home is Where | (USA, IT)

Is home a place? A feeling? Can it have the same meaning to different people? 

What happens when you don’t feel comfortable in your own body — does it feel more like a cage than a home? What happens when you’re far away from the physical place you consider to be home? How do you rebuild your sensation of embrace, of safety, of one of the most fundamental things a human needs to survive? These are all questions I’d like to explore, both personally and within a wider community realm.


Home is Where is a collaborative project between myself and ten additional artists from around the globe. 

Music by IRIS LUNE 

Artistic Direction and Choreography: Ofelia Balogun

Assistant Artistic Direction: Luwam Aldrovandi Aweke

Dancers:

Luwam Aldrovandi Aweke

Melissa Salimbeni

Sara Febert

Cecilia Franceschelli

Astrid Delombaerde

Ofelia Omoyele Balogun

Videomaking by StreetStyleStudio

Supported by MercatoSonato 


Proceeds from this album has been donated to organizations that are helping people who have been displaced because of Covid-19 and other natural disasters or that work with unhoused communities in NYC. 


 2023/24 // Groundation - Dancing From the Archives | (UK, Caribbean, Africa)

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots"

Brings a collection of West African traditional dance and Jamaican folk dances, that represent social, ritual, and religious rites. These dances are the foundation of the movement style of IRIE! dance theatre. 

Each dance relays a journey and a cultural shift in African and Caribbean history, thereby guarding the stories for us now and those that are yet to come.


Yanvalou - Caribbean (Haiti)

Gahu - West Africa (Ghana)

Nyabinghi - Caribbean (Jamaica)

Togo Atsia - West Africa (Ghana)

Kpanlogo - West Africa (Ghana)

Ragga - Jamaican music genre

Revival - Jamaica

Dinki Minie - Jamaica

Kumina - Jamaica


Choreography: Beverley Glean MBE, Dr H Patten MBE, Nii Kwartey Owoo

Dancers: 

Ofelia Balogun 

Yannick Mindu

Adriana Pino

Grace Akinbode

Shea Best

Aisha Sayang-Meek

Musicians: Stephan Blagrove, Nii Boye Owoo, Zozo Shuaibu

Costume Styling: Lula Alvarez

Producers: Kauma Arts


 2023 // Un altro genere di forza (Another kind/genre of strenght) | (Bologna, IT)

"Strength is non-reaction, resilience nourished by the patience to cast a light in the house of darkness. 

To see in those corridors, where the darkness oppresses me, the outline of a window that - opening - welcomes the teaching of what has been.

Strength is pressing against a rusty latch as if it were your heart, insisting on letting go of a breath held for years.

It is maybe that I allow myself to wonder if my intuition was telling the truth."

The performance #Unaltrogenerediforza is the result of a process of meeting and collective choreography. The meeting, which took place around the theme of gender violence, focused on the concept of force as a possible reaction tool to the experience of violence.


The strength that lies in doing together, in building a collective ritual, in thinking together about a feminine and feminist alternative to the heteropatriarchal concept of muscular strength.


The project was developed through workshops for women with women and was preceded by training and exchange meetings with Eleonora Bonvini (General and Social Pedagogy) and Daniela Linguerri (Psychology and psychotherapy).


 2023 // Reggae Ina Yu Jeggae | (Irie! Dance Theatre, London, UK)

Rediscovering the history of IRIE! dance theatre through its choreographic works has been enlightening and has motivated us to examine, on new bodies, the more traditional elements of the dances. 

These elements have laid the foundation for the movement language of the company. The work has been remounted on 6 dancers, and creatively reimagined and reconstructed by rehearsal director Ofelia Balogun. 

These dancers hold strong African and European retentions because of the transatlantic slave trade and colonisation. The rhythms and movement language continue to present themselves in contemporary African and Caribbean culture in the diaspora.


 2022 // Tidal | (UK) - with Kimberley Noble

Tidal is a dance theatre project that underlines the importance of creating bridges and connection through ancient knowledge in challenging modern times. Between ancestry and feminine lineage of  their Welsh, Norman and Yoruba Roots the creators investigate and find common ground within mythology and cosmology.

 

Tidal underlines the importance of connecting with the water element, which is a symbol of transformation (powerful inner force) sacred knowledge (environment and motherhood), fertility (giver of life) and the illusion of the perspective on the female body and its abilities. The exploration of all these aspects will guide us all into a deeper research of how the myths are connected to our ancestry and how our stories are bound to contemporary perception of the female body.


Tidal is a collaboration with Welsh dancer and choreographer Kimberley Noble

Music by :  Bombo productions and Welsh singer Teifi Emerald

2022 // Lupa Caligo | Residenza Vivarelli (IT) | YGBI - with Ismael Lo

Lupa Caligo an ongoing research between Ismael Lo and Ofelia Balogun on the phenomenon of Call and Response .

The nameless space that intersperses it appears as a continuous conversation that runs through music, dance and life itself.

Lupa Caligo is a reflection on how digitally generated visual and sonic languages combine with movement and the body to reconfigure narratives and to orient new social responses.


"My interaction with the set of calls and responses changes, and at the same time I

remain in a state of alert, suspended until the end. It is a continuous deconstruction and construction to find the essence and to rediscover a new context for the sound" 

(Ismael Lo | Sound & Graphic Designer)

“Through its theatrical, narrative,community, symbolic and archetypal function, dance is an

active but forgotten tool for individual and collective transformation. For example, its usefulness in reconstructing one's ability to discriminate, the deconstruction of one's experiences

and the experience or discovery of one's intersectional identity and

intentionality."

 2022 // I Corpi Barricati | (Milano, IT) | 1 Hour Theatre Monologue 

“I Corpi Barricati” (from Italian  Locked-in Bodies) is a monologue written and directed by Cameroonian writer Emmanuel Edson about a woman that, while trapped in a limbo in the spirit world, reflects and awakens herself after a life spent as a slave of other people's narrative..


Monologue by Ofelia Omoyele Balogun 

Music by Dudù Kouate

Written | Directed by Emmanuel Edson 

Supported by Francesco Salerno

Videos / Montaggio / Foto: Giulia Zhang per Ayzoh! 

Language: Italian


“Isn't representing the wounds of a society already healing the wounds themselves?”

 2022 // The Absence of the Presence  (L'assenza della presenza) |  (Bologna, IT)

"The Absence of Presence" is a dancing hub that places dance at the centre as a stimulus for reflection on individuality in relation to the Other, on distorted narratives and on conscious activism, emphasizing the need to create a link between personal history and contemporary history as an act of responsibility.

Post Talk with Timothy Raeymekers ( University of Bologna ) on the book “ Corpi e Mediterraneo Nero”.


The hub was made possible with the support of Cantieri Meticci, DnA Dance Company and Comune di Bologna.


Choreography and Artistic Direction by Ofelia Omoyele Balogun

Percussion: Lamin Kjigera

Dancers:

Federica Toffola

Bianca Mangelli

Astrid Delombaerde

Sara Febert

Anna Rolfi

Elisa Peron

Melissa Salimbeni

Cecilia Franceschelli


Trailer Music (I do not own the copyright of the music )

 2021 // Identità Proibite | (IT) 

Dance production by O O Balogun  (30 minutes) that explore the:  " Permission of Being. Spoken words and dancing bodies explore the release of the perpetual asking for permission. A conversation in movement between the “received” judgment and the “embodied” judgment." The project was developed in collaboration with Luwam Aldrovandi & Gaia Centamore

@Erica Gelsi

2021 // Moonwalk | (Senegal) - with Nix

Collaboration with Nix in his song "Moonwalk" . 

Winner Best African video 2021 Gelsen Hip Hop Awards.

2021 // Scrivere con i piedi  (اكتب بقدميك ) ( Writing with your feet) | (IT) | Dance Movie

Writing with your Feet means writing through the experience of an unfolding migration journey focusing on transgenerational knowledge.  The use of the Moroccan’s Djaria language  designates the privileged user, or anyone who has experienced this language, to overturn the common meaning of “privilege”. The feeling of being part of an illiterate family, the embodied sense of shame and inferiority that at the same time allows you to recognize the immaterial value of a not productive- driven and millennial orality tradition.

With Moroccan-Italian oral poet, visual artist and anti racism activist Wissal Houbabi, Italian poetry performer, graphic designer and sound designer Tommaso Giordani.

2020-2021 // I-M-MIGRANT | (UK)

 An in-movement reflection on the history and the relationship of African descendants and second generation population and their fluid status of “displaced humans' '. Displaced individuals, displaced in a middle land between the origin and the arrival one.

Dance production developed by O O Balogun & 8 dancers with a 30 minutes documentary about the creation process 

(full documentary available on request)

2020 // "La Bestia, el tren de la muerte" | (Italy) - with Cantieri Meticci

A freight train loaded with immigrants travels towards the American dream, a legend of a female figure who, rebelling against violence, becomes a goddess of diasporic origins between Cuba and Nigeria in a performance that deals with issues of resistance and struggle). Theatre production with Movement directing by Ofelia Balogun

2019 //  Mirrors | (IT to AFRICA) - With Johanne Affricot & Irene Russolillo 

A multidisciplinary artistic performance that highlights various Italian artists who come from different fields such as music, dance, video installations; these artists in turn highlight the connection between Italy and Africa with their art. The production toured and collaborate with Ballet National (Dakar), Destino Dance Company (Addis Abeba),  UJ Arts and Culture and Moving Into Dance Mopathong company (Johannesburg). 

2019 // Foreign Bodies: An Underwater Love Story (UK)  - With Ella Mesma Company

Ella Mesma Company collaborates with technology experts and composer Sabio Janiak to create a dance that crosses time, borders, cultures, oceans. Set within a TV Box, Foreign Bodies is an Underwater Love Story which explores what it is to belong to one heritage or to belong to many and the interplay between heritage and a person’s identity as a citizen of the world. With Brexit providing a pertinent backdrop, Foreign Bodies is set on two TV stations which contrast and connect the farcical world of a quiz show and the magic of a nature documentary about jellyfish.

2019 // ashleykarell

2019 // The Willow Tree (UK) - Solo Commission by Serendipity (UK)

Drawing strength from the imagery of Il Salice, the willow tree, Ofelia examines why as humans we allow external factors to define who we are, rejecting ourselves and erasing our ancestry.


2018 // Reflection Routes (UK) | Dance Production - With Sarita Piotrowski &
Leeto Thale by Union Dance (UK)

Reflection Routes marked the birth of Nelson Mandela with an open performance in the heart of the British Museum

2017// NIMBA | (UK) Dance Production

With  Sidiki Dembele,  Aboubacar Sylla, Baba Galle Kante,Mamadou Keita, Sura  Susso, Christopher Radford, Fumy Opeyemi, Idrissa Camara, Nathan Bartman, Oumar Camara, Patience James, Vanessa Guevara.

Founded by Idrissa Camara of Guinea in 2010, Ballet Nimba has combined traditional dance roots with dynamic young performers and an original musical score. Featuring the rare talents of Fulani Flute, Bolon Bata players from Guinea, an Ngoni player from Cote d’Ivoire, soaring vocals and percussion on Djembe, Doundouns, Kirin and Wassaoumba, the audience are treated by some of West Africa’s most outstanding percussionists.

2016 // Britain Got Talent, Semi Final 4 | (UK)

Bollywood and hip-hop dancing fusion, Choreography by Del Mark & Ash Oberoi