Workshops for Adults

VERTEBRAE: A Creative Conversation

  • Kuti Kalo, 2022
    Kuti Kalo, 2022
Workshops for Adults
VERTEBRAE: A Creative Conversation
Sunday 2 April 2023, 1—4pm
Event Information

Time and Date: Sunday 2 April 2023, 1—4pm
Location: SIGNAL, Flinders Walk, Northbank 

VERTEBRAE is a program that celebrates the life and work of Germaine Acogny, a visionary dancer, choreographer, and founder of École des Sables. In Part Two, Footscray Community Arts and SIGNAL present VERTEBRAE: A Creative Conversation, an opportunity for young First Nations, African diaspora, and PoC artists aged 14—30 to discuss the themes of Acogny’s solo performance, Somewhere at the beginning. To find out more about Part One of this series head to VERTEBRAE: A Dance Workshop.

Embedded within Acogny’s autobiographical testimony are many voices: the traditions of her grandmother meld with the memoirs and musings of her father in a timeless tangle of family, memory, spirituality and identity. Somewhere at the beginning asks us to think about origins and what they offer – or cost – us. 

We will provide prompts for personal reflection, group discussion, and end the session with an intimate Q&A visit from Germaine Acogny herself.  

  • Breaks with light snacks and refreshments will be provided. 
  • In order to participate in this discussion, it is necessary to attend ‘Somewhere at the beginning’ beforehand.  
  • As part of this booking you will receive complimentary entry to the show at Arts House on Saturday 1 April 2023, 7:30pm. Your name will be on the door list. 

Co-facilitated by Nyaruot Ruth Ruach and Aïsha Trambas 

This event is produced in partnership with Footscray Community Arts, and SIGNAL, City of Melbourne. Somewhere at the beginning is presented by Arts House as part of FRAME: A biennial of dance.

Date & Times

Sunday 2 April 2023, 1—4pm  




Please contact Nyaruot Ruach via ruthnyaruot@footscrayarts.com if you have any access requirements.

Meet the Dance Instructors
  • Germaine Acogny
    Germaine Acogny

    Senegalese and French, Germaine Acogny has evolved her own technique of Modern African Dance and is considered worldwide as the “mother of Contemporary African Dance”. From 1977 to 1982, she was the Artistic Director of Mudra Afrique, created by Maurice Bejart and the President L.S. Senghor in Dakar. She dances, choreographs and teaches all over the world and has become a forceful ambassador of African Dance and Culture. In 1997, Germaine Acogny was appointed Artistic Director of the Dance section of Afrique en Creation in Paris. With her husband Helmut Vogt, she created in Senegal the International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary African Dance, the Ecole des Sables, inaugurated in 2004. It’s a place of exchange between African dancers and dancers from all continents. Here dancers from all over Africa receive the rigorous training which guides them towards Contemporary African Dance. Since 1988 Germaine Acogny creates regularly solo pieces for herself and since 2003/2004 she choreographes for her company Jant-Bi which tours successfully all over the world. Germaine Acogny is Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite, Officier des Arts et Lettres, Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur, and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic. She is also Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Lion and Officier des Arts et Lettres of the Republic of Senegal. In 2007, she received, jointly with the Japanese Kota Yamazaki, a BESSIE Award in New York for the choreography of their piece “Fagaala“. 

  • Nyaruot Ruach
    Nyaruot Ruach

    Ruth Nyaruot Ruach is the Future Reset Project Coordinator at Footscray Community Arts. She’s also a South-Sudanese multidisciplinary artist, cultural curator and community arts worker. Nyaruot uses art to understand herself, explore elements of her surroundings, heal, liberate herself and validate her blackness. Her art practice is centered on understanding her cultural identity and what it means to be a black woman on stolen country.

    She is a founding member of two artist-led organisation/collective: Next In Colour and Way Over There (WOT collective). Nyaruot uses art making as an ancestral practice and as a vehicle for building resilience in creating sustainable practices and processes to empower her community. She believes as a third culture kid, it’s her obligation to shape avenues and pathways within the creative fields for the generations of African artists wanting to create and reclaim their narratives.

  • Aïsha Trambas
    Aïsha Trambas

    Aïsha Trambas is an afro-greek arts worker who lives on wurundjeri and boonwurrung lands. Her passion is to create and be a part of experiences that deepen our understandings of self and others through expression, dialogue and learning. 

    Aïsha was the 2019 Program Coordinator of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and is currently a Creative Producer at SIGNAL working with young artists aged 14-25 on free public programs. Aïsha has performed at Yirramboi Festival, Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Arts House, Testing Grounds, Melbourne Fringe Festival and elsewhere. In 2022, her poetry was published in Unlimited Futures, an anthology of Bla(c)k speculative fiction.


This is a past event