Ancient Futures (2023)
Unlimited Theatre and Upswing present
An Afrofuturism inspired outdoor spectacular blending contemporary circus and storytelling with Sound System culture and West African folklore. Conceived, created and co-directed by J Spooner (Unlimited) and Vicki Dela Amedume (Upswing)
Ancient Futures combined dance, circus, music and storytelling with design inspired by West African masquerade and Afrofuturism.
Video by Helm Films
Our fabulous Afrinauts arrive at festivals as curious visitors from another dimension, inviting willing participants to meet them, train with them and witness their unique community. Audiences are invited to join their spectacular dance party, a ritual to launch us into a new reality that promises to build a more vibrant, positive and inspiring future than we might otherwise be heading towards.
Photos by Paul Blakemore @ Brighton Festival, May 2023
Original music by Afrikan Boy
Premiered May 2023 at Brighton Festival before touring to Hat Fair (Winchester), Godiva Festival (Coventry), BD: Festival (Bradford), Stockton International Riverside Festival, Greenwich & Docklands International Festival (London) and Millennium Square (Leeds) as part of Leeds 2023.
Afrinauts (performers): Azula Bandit; Talisman Jaguar; Kofi Mingo; Akadi Sankofa; Mitchel Taunton
Spoken Word written by Oneness Sankara
Music by Afrikan Boy
Dance choreography by Kofi Mingo
Movement Direction by Vicki Dela Amedume
Set design by Becky Minto
Costume design by Izzy Jones-Rigby
Sound design by Thor McIntyre-Burnie
Production Manager: Helen Mugridge
Technical Stage Manager: Shaun Barber
Sound Operator: Sharon Tsang
Deputy Stage Managers: Simon Perkins & Bernice Rayner
Executive Producers Alice Massey (for Unlimited) and Sherry Neyhus (for Upswing)
Assistant Producer (for Unlimited) Javairya Khan
Producer on Tour: Alison McIntyre
Executive Directors Sarah Webb (for Unlimited) and Camille Bensoussan (for Upswing)
General Management for Upswing Sarah Crompton
Digital Comms by Rachael Abbey (for Unlimited) and Bridie Tyler (for Upswing)
Ancient Futures was co-produced by Unlimited Theatre and Upswing. Ancient Futures was supported by Without Walls and commissioned by: LEEDS 2023, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Brighton Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival. Ancient Futures was also supported by Coventry City Council and co-commissioned by City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council for BD:Festival. Creation supported by 101 Outdoor Arts. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. The R&D for Ancient Futures was supported by a Blueprint R&D Investment Fund.
Photo from rehearsals by Breda Louise Galvin