Tuesday, 13 April 2010

INTERVIEW: JJ | Jah-Dean Dance Group

Short. Sharp. Facts!

Name: JJ
Birthplace: London
: London
Poetry Deb
ut: Age 11, so about 7 years ago.


ONiT! is excited to see that you're on the line up for Love…Sex…Sensuality…, the forthcoming celebration of all things sensual. We’d love to hear your answers on the following:

Can you tell us how you got involved in this exciting new show?
I was approached by Richard of Free Street Entertainment, who told me that a promoter had seen us performing at Will E. Robo’s show at the Hackney Empire and was interested in using us. I gave him (the promoter) a call and he told us he liked what we did at the show and wanted to use us for a show that he was organising so that’s how it came about really.

How long have your dance troupe been peforming together?
This is actually a recent thing as I’ve just created an agency with a friend of mine. The agency is called Jah Dean Entertainment, out of that came the dance group. It’s probably been about a year now, our first show was the Will E. Robo show at the Hackney Empire.

Basically the dance group stemmed from a fashion show that my friend was doing with her clothing line, Jah Dean clothing, she wanted dancers for it as well so we wore her clothes and we thought we would start a group because it was so effective and different. It’s very abstract and creative. All the clothes are handmade and tailored for the dancers the costumes we will be wearing for the show (Love...Sex...Sensuality...) are brand new amazing designs, specifically for the show and the shows subject, it’s quite exciting really.

Who/what would you cite as your dance influences?
To be fair I don’t have a specific dance influence just because it’s not only dance that I do, I also do musical theatre. I have wondered who it is that influences me or that I look up to and there’s no one specific but more so it’s what it’s about, and the feeling I get from performing - the buzz I get. It’s moreso my love for the area of performing that drives me and inspires me to do it.

I love everything and do everything I’ve changed from street to contemporary, tap to salsa; I’ve done quite a range of styles and I’m still learning more stuff. It’s seen in our work as a group as well. I’m the lead choreographer but the entire group has creative input and support each other. We all specialise in different styles, tap, ballet, contemporary, so we try to fuse that.

Is there any artist(s) who you would particularly like to perform with
Wow, that’s a hard one! There are so many great artists out there. In relation to dance specifically I would probably say, at the moment, Lady GaGa. She is so creative and I think with such a creative artist the performance would have to mirror that, so I can only imagine what the performance would be like. It would great to be a part of something so different, so out there. She’s amazing.

How would you describe your dance/performance style?

I would describe it as a fusion of different styles. That’s the only way I could describe it, I mean we have a bit of street in there, some contemporary stuff, a bit of jazz and more abstract stuff. It’s a fusion of as many styles as we can fit in and there is always room to change things up so it might get a bit more abstract. I didn’t want it to be named as any particular thing, I wanted it to be outside of everything.

Everything from the costumes, to the make-up, reflect diversity even the dancers themselves, who are a range of races, reflect that diversity and I want that to be reflected in all elements of the performance.

In order to fully love and appreciate the love of another, we know that you must first love yourself. How would you define self-love? Feeling secure within yourself, respect for yourself and being appreciative of who you are, it’s the first thing you can do before showing affection to anyone else.

What can the audience expect from you on the night?

Oooh, expect a lot of energy and hopefully what we portray has some kind of relevance, so what you see is in some way, shape or form, something you’ve experienced or can recognise within yourself.

Is there a particular piece you are looking forward to performing at Love…Sex…Sensuality…?

Yes, funnily enough we have based the (dance) piece on a poem a friend of mine has written which covers those areas. It’s a poem by Damilola K Fashola called ‘Dry On My Skin’.

What poem/film/song says 'Love...Sex...Sensuality…' to you?

A song that comes to mind is Floetry ‘Say Yes’, that to me would reflect love, sex and sensuality.

Complete these sentences:

Love is...a journey.
Sex emotion.
Sensuality is...
an artform.

What other performances/projects do you have coming up?

In regards to the agency we’ll be doing the second Will E. Robo show at the 02, and at the minute, that’s it.

We’ll be taking a break as I have exams but then after that I’m sure there’ll be plenty of other projects coming up.

You can see and hear Jah-Dean Dancers perform live, at Love…Sex…Sensuality… on Saturday 24th April.

Tickets: Tickets available now at the following outlets, priced £10 (+ booking fee, where applicable)


Supertone Records (Brixton) 020 7737 7761 | Everybody’s Music (Tottenham) 020 8802 0146 | Maestro Records (Peckham) 020 7635 7299 | Dub Vendor (Clapham) 020 7233 3757 | Hawkeye Records (Harlesden) 020 8961 0866

Further info: 07984 628 070

Press/Media info: 07790 443 834 | 07958 327 811 |

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