DBP is excited and deeply honored to host Latanya to teach movement workshops, including Talawa Technique and from Manjani to Running Man (see clip below).
Latanya was a Reconstructing Imagination Artist-in-Residence in the DBP studio space in 2020. During her residency she continued her research and writing on African dance retention in African American social dance forms, specifically New Orleans Second Line traditions (soon to be published). See Latanya’s full bio below.
Latanya’s Talawa Technique workshops welcome everyone! They focus on learning elements of the technique, for example, the seven levels of movement of the spine (Snake), and the 32 arm movements (Bird) informed by Latanya’s deep cultural and movement contextual understanding of and experience with West and Central African forms, dances of the African Diaspora and African American social dances. Toward the end of class she combines those elements into a combination so that students can experience the layering of the elements of the technique and the joy of dancing together in community.
From the Talawa Technique Creator/Synthesizer – Talawa Technique™ structures elements of African & Caribbean practices uniquely designed to facilitate poly-centrism, multiple movement qualities, grounding and poly-rhythm. Talawa Technique™ deconstructs and reconstructs these practices in such a way as to reveal the quality of each unique element by themselves. Talawa Technique utilizes the added accumulative potential achieved when these elements are intentionally recombined. — Thomas Presto
In addition to her research Latanya also co-founded with Ebonie Barnett and Colette Eloi the Back to the Root Conference that they managed to make happen online during Covid. Back to the Root offered one class a month. Classes included presentations by scholar researchers and movement classes in forms like Ghanaian Agbadza, Haitian Yanvalou, Congolese Bakongo, Hyphy movement, a Bay Area based dance. One class focused on New Orleans Bounce with Satchel Joseph and Greer Mendy, author of Black Dance in Louisiana, which chronicles the history of Bounce. This series enabled participants to travel around the world during Covid! The series culminated in a 3-day conference, which included a previous presenter Thomas Presto, the creator/synthesizer of Talawa Technique. Latanya was also instrumental in coordinating a Bay Area cohort for the inaugural Talawa Technique training.
Latanya d. Tigner has performed professionally with Dimensions Dance Theater since 1986, and has studied and toured nationally and internationally, performing multidisciplinary works rooted African diasporic dance forms. Latanya holds a B.A. in Physical Education/Dance, a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration, directs Dimensions’ youth company, teaches dance at UC Berkeley. Latanya has created commissioned works for Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Choreographers Festival, Robert Moses’ Kin, Mills College, and has presented work in SF Ethnic Dance Festival, Cuba Caribe, and Mabina Dance Festival (Congo-Brazzaville). She has also set choreography for Cal Shakes’ production of black odyssey, SF Shakespeare’s production of A Winter’s Tale, Ubuntu Theater’s production of Dance of the Holy Ghost, Delina Brooks’ An Open Love Letter to Black Fathers, Contra Costa College’s productions of In the Blood, For Colored Girls, and Godspell, and Li Smith’s production of Purlie Victorious. Her current research includes New Orleans Second Line parading traditions and West and Central African retention in African American dance forms. Latanya also holds the position of Co-Artistic Director of World Arts West’s esteemed San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival along with Mahealani Uchiyama and Patrick Makuakane for the 2018-2020 seasons.