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Yinka Esi Graves

The Disappearing Act

Residency

The Disappearing Act is Yinka Esi Graves’ first solo creation. This work aims to raise a conversation around the daily dance between disappearing to exist and the refusal of erasure, many people, particularly women of African descent are forced to engage in worldwide. Graves works with removal, absence, and invisibility as materials with which to create with when writing yourself into being.

The Disappearing Act is a solo exploration of the ways in which Black women articulate their resistances to negation. Yinka is particularly interested in methods of camouflage and mimicry that insidiously seep into the intimate realm. The notion of crypsis, the ability an animal must avoid observation or detection by other animals, as a predation strategy or an antipredator adaptation, is integral to the work. Inspired by the format of Concert Parties, originating as Fante (Ghanaian) adaptations of European variety style performances from the 19th Century, Yinka proposes a piece that combines dance, live music, and text to stage this conundrum.  

Yinka Esi Graves is a British Flamenco dancer and practitioner whose choreographic work explores the links between Flamenco and other forms of corporeal expression from an African diasporic and contemporary perspective. Having studied ballet and Afro-Cuban dancing in her youth Yinka has dedicated the last 12 years of her life to flamenco studying at Amor de Dios in Madrid and later in Seville with artists such as La Lupi, Andrés Marin, Yolanda Heredia and Juana Amaya. After performing extensively in Spain and the UK, her choreographic work and unique way of working in and around flamenco has been featured at Sadler’s Wells (Sampled 2017), Dance Umbrella’s Out of the system, Gibney dance NY amongst others, reaching audiences nationally and internationally often taking flamenco into new spaces.

Choreography and Dance: Yinka Esi Graves 

Musical director/ Guitarist: Raúl Cantizano 

Drummer and Poet: Remi Graves 

Singer: Rosario Heredia 

Film Collaborator: Miguel Angel Rosales

The Horizon team would like to thank Dance4 for supporting Yinka’s residency with the provision of space and resources.

Yinka Esi Graves, The Disappearing Act 3. Photo by Miguel Angel Rosales
Yinka Esi Graves, The Disappearing Act 3. Photo by Miguel Angel Rosales