Kwame Asafo-Adjei is a dance artist who fuses his hip-hop training with contemporary dance and his Ghanaian background, helping create a unique style of movement that tackles the day-to-day realities he faces in his social surroundings. Often exploring the development of black culture, themes of tension and release are ever-present in his provocative work.
Kwame gained an interest in creating work and directing artists through participation in development programs such as Open Art Surgery. By shadowing his mentors – hip hop pioneer Jonzi D and choreographer Jonathan Burrows – he was able to open his mental blocks and gain clarity on his identity within his work, which he sees as being blunt, ugly, beautiful and truthful.
Kwame is the Founder and Artistic Director of Spoken Movement through which he creates his work. In producing his work, such as his Wild Card evening at Sadler’s Wells, Asafo-Adjei’s aim was to focus on the audience response and how viewers must abandon an analytical perspective in order to understand the culture from a black perspective. In Alistair Spalding’s words: ‘his choreography is often raw and confronting, but full of honesty and thought-provoking’.
Asafo-Adjei won 2018’s Danse Elargie choreography competition and 2019’s Rotterdam International Duet Choreography Competition (with a €100,000 prize) with one of his works, Family Honour. It is a taut piece of hip-hop theatre performed with intensity and articulacy. Asafo-Adjei will be performing Family Honour as part of Breakin’ Convention’s UK tour, beginning in May, and will be premiering his first full-length show in Rotterdam in September.