TDH INTERNATIONAL DANCE HUB 2021
WEEK I FLORENCE
From 2005 to 2007 he worked with the actress and director Maria Maglietta in a dance and theater project on behalf of AMREF Italy/Kenya for the rehabilitation of “chocora” (garbage guys) of Nairobi. Together they held several contemporary dance and contact improvisation workshops for a group of local dancers organized by the Italian Institute of Culture in Nairobi.
In 2015 he became the artistic director of Dance Exorto, a new space for the performing arts in Agropoli (Salerno, Italy).
His work is mostly based on release technique, floor work, and partnering. Paralling his studies in architecture, he emphasizes concepts such as space/direction, structure/shape, full/empty, and inside/outside.
He holds regular courses in contemporary dance and contact improvisation at both public and private school in Florence and leads workshops in Italy and abroad.
Piero Leccese, in parallel to higher education, began studying contemporary dance, ballet, and improvisation. He has studied contact improvisation with Alexander Certini, Charlotte Zerbey, Alessandra Palma Cesnola, and has attended seminars with Julyen Hamilton, Nancy Stark Smith, Kirstie Simson, and many others. He deepened his training at the Contemporary Dance School and the Laban Center in London, as well as in Paris and Bruxelles. He atteneded drama workshops with Danio Manfredini, Renata Palminiello, Remondi and Caporossi, and Marco Baliani. He has also collaborated with Italian companies of contemporary dance and physical theater such as Compagnia Aldes-Roberto Castello, Company Blue, Baldanza, Versilia Dance, Ersilia Danza, Secondo Taglio, Rem & Cap, Agar-Paola Bianchi, Florence Dance Company, and Gabriella Maiorino Dance Company.
He regularly collaborates with the company Teatro di Piazza o di Occasione of Prato as a performer in shows for children. He also helps with the organization and implementation of theater workshops and movement for students and teachers. The company also runs workshops in expressive theater and dance programs targeting the disables, drug addicts, and young people from the slums.
WEEK II AGROPOLI
Molissa Fenley founded Molissa Fenley and Company in 1977 and has since created over 85 dance works during her continuing career. She grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria traveling there with her family in 1961, completing all of her early education there in International Schools and her last two years of high school in Spain. She returned to the US in 1971 to study dance at Mills College in Oakland, California. Upon graduation in 1975, she moved to New York. With her company, Molissa Fenley and Company, and as a soloist working in collaboration with visual artists and composers, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Her work has been commissioned by the American Dance Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, the Dia Art Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow, the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center, the New National Theater of Tokyo, The National Institute of Performing Arts in Seoul, The Kitchen, and Dance Theater Workshop/New York Live Arts. Both Cenotaph and State of Darkness were awarded a Bessie for Choreography in 1985 and 1988 respectively.
Molissa has also set many works on ballet and contemporary dance companies, most recently for the Oakland Ballet (Redwood Park), Pacific Northwest Ballet, (State of Darkness), Repertory Dance Theatre (Energizer), Barnard/Columbia (Amdo), Robert Moses' Kin (The Vessel Stories), and the Seattle Dance Project, (Planes in Air). She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, has enjoyed residencies at Yaddo, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Baryshnikov Art Center, Djerassi and is a twice recipient of awards from the Asian Cultural Council to visit Japan. Molissa is Professor of Dance at Mills College, in residence in the spring semesters, and often teaches choreographic and repertory workshops at other universities, most recently at Bennington, Barnard/Columbia and Hunter. Seagull Press/University of Chicago recently published Rhythm Field: The Dance of Molissa Fenley.
KINGDOM KWEKU YIKPO
AFRICANA DANCE ENSEMBLE
WEEK III AGROPOLI
To say Kingdom Kweku is an energetic performer is a complete understatement! To experience one of Kingdom’s electrifying performances, will have you wanting to be up on your feet dancing and sharing in the moment as he sets the floor on fire. You know when he is in a room. As a teacher and choreographer, it is the same. From a very young age Kingdom’s spirit was captivated by the traditional dance, rhythms and songs gifted to him by his ancestors. Kingdom’s deep appreciation for the preservation of his culture and traditional dance, has made him a well-known and sought-after performer, choreographer and teacher across all of Ghana. Kingdom Kweku embodies the essence and power of traditional Ghanaian dance which requires an underestimated level of fitness and agility. He is well loved and respected by his peers, business owners, government officials, national and international organizations, schools and by local media. Kingdom’s ability to reach and engage with all people, on any level is a gift.
Performing for The Ghanaian National Folklore Board, Ghana Dance Association, American Folklife Centre, Local Television Media and at Panafest, Movenpick and Kempinski hotels, Kingdom’s name is well established. Kingdom has a huge heart for his local community and has been lead dancer/tutor for Africana Dance Ensemble at the Community Youth Cultural Centre. He is also a culture teacher of dance and drumming for International Community School, Willow Tree Children's Centre, Koans International School, L'cee Francais d'Accra just to name a few. The deep history of his people is clearly reflected in Kingdom’s unique style with Voltarian ancestry, his movements are precise, intentional but expressive and free, clearly reflecting the freedom and liberation of his Ewe tribe. He is fully aware that without their struggles and determination he would not be here to tell their stories and share the beauty of traditional Ghanaian dance with you!
Founder & Artistic Director, Ballet Teacher
Under the name WADEintoACTIVISM, she is organizing a virtual event space dedicated to 16 days of activism inspired by UN Women for November 2020. The event will present the works of a multi-generational, multicultural group of women artists reflecting on VAWG (violence against women and girls) and conversations with male artists and feminists activists from around the globe who engage men and boys in the prevention of gender based violence. The event welcomes disparate voices from the USA, Italy, France, Argentina, Canada, India, Iran, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago and China.
Giada created and now directs, together with Spanish musician and composer Toni Costa, a dance accompaniment training program in Florence and Agropoli, Italy called Music HUB.
Covid-19 has exposed our human fragility and it has inspired her to continue connecting with like-minded creatives across the globe in pursuit of authentic connections and long-lasting solutions. She is an avid supporter and advocate for high quality education for all children of the world, she rejects violence of any kind and stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Giada Matteini, born and raised in Florence-Italy, has worked as a performer, educator, choreographer, curator, producer and activist in New York City since 1998. With Italian parents and an American son, she has dedicated the past 10 years of her life to bridge the geographical distances of the 2 continents she inhabits. Giada is today the Artistic Director of Toscana Dance HUB/International, TDH Festival for Emerging Choreographers, The Larger WE performance series, the Agropoli Danza Festival, and the Second Avenue Dance Company. She is a dance professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts in NYC and has traveled as a guest artist to Germany, Sweden, Austria, China, The Philippines, Mexico and across the U.S. and Italy. Giada today performs with JENNIFERCHINdance, Molissa Fenley and Company and teaches company class for the Limón Dance Company.
As a company director she has produced and/or facilitated over 60 residencies with international artists including Roy Assaf (Roy Assaf Dance), Davide Di Pretoro (Sasha WaltZ), Janet Wong (Bill T Jones), Diane Madden (Trisha Brown Dance Company), Kirsten Foote (Limon Dance Company), Cindy Salgado (Crystal Pite), Rashaun Mitchell (Merce Cunningham Dance Company), Netta Yerushalmy, Stefanie Batten Bland, Bobbi Jene Smith, Loni Landon, Gregory Dolbashian (Dash Ensemble), Shannon Gillen (Vim Vigor), Nathan Trice, Vita Osojnik, Charlotte Boye-Christenson, Cora Bos-Kroese (NDT), Richard Chen See (Paul Taylor Dance Company), Arcell Carbuag (Ronald K. Brown Evidence), Madboots, Sonya Tayeh, Studio Wayne McGregor, Ori Flomin, Sadé and Kristina Alleyne, just to name a few.