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Musician Eric Acakpo and dance-artist Francesca Pedullà have worked together since 2004, teaching, creating contexts for cultural and artistic exchange and performing in Benin and abroad. Confronted both personally and professionally by the benefits and the challenges of being in a dialogue besides cultural differences and unconscious bias, they committed to focusing their work on exploring how such dialogue can be mutually enriching and transformative.

Sonagnon was founded in 2006 to pursue their work and research among collectivities. It provides an exchange and learning platform for artists.

We work inclusively with local communities and test the impact that the encounter between different forms of art and different cultures have on each of us.

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Interweaving wisdom among people, communities and societies

BEING IN A DIALOGUE

We create the possibility for cross cultural encounter and exchange with the intent to mitigate impact of prejudices and observe differences as a value. Our projects are taking place in Benin, Europe and Brazil, working with a network of international artists,curators, and trainers.

DANCE and MUSIC

Dance and music are the tools we use for social, political and cultural inquiry. The body, its expressivity, its interaction with music is a common denominator to all of us, beyond cultures and borders. Movement education is key to stimulate healthy lifestyle choices, effective community engagement processes and individual self-expression.

BENINESE CULTURAL HERITAGE

We enhance the values of Beninese culture and we make it accessible. Beninese culture is a rich archive of knowledge about human beings and behaviours. We value such heritage as a vehicle for fundamental spiritual and social wisdom guiding and enhancing the expression of both collective and individual dynamics in contemporary societies. In our work ancient and current practices have a space to communicate with and enrich each other.

FORMATION and ARTISTIC PRODUCTION

We provide stimulating tools for pedagogical and physical skill building and for artistic creation that improves professionalism and stimulates individual creativity. We organize workshops, creative residencies, intercultural and artistic projects for local and international artists involving local communities in Benin. We curate festivals and produce artistic performances in collaboration with local venues and with the support of local and international partners.

Traces - interweaving Wisdom

Based in the Historic City of Ouidah, TRACES offers a context of open research and artistic exchange to dance artists and musicians with the intention of transferring movement pedagogical and choreographic skills and sharing experience without imposing an aesthetic style.
By inviting Benin's and Togo’s traditional and contemporary dancers and musicians, and participants and experts from all over the world in an annual three weeks residence project TRACES confronts them with different culturally articulated ways of organizing or accessing knowledge.

Tambours du Bénin

Tambours du Benin is an initiative created to preserve and highlight the richness of traditional rhythms and songs of the different ethnic groups in Benin to pass them on to future generations. Tambours du Bénin is an annual training course on the rediscovery, analysis, and re-enactment of traditional rhythms and songs for young Beninese percussionists. Tambours du Benin is a traditional music and dance group that offers a journey into the world of traditional Beninese rhythms and songs. The sophisticated polyrhythm of the accompanying instruments and voices is amplified by the power of the solo instruments that express themselves in unison. Tambours du Benin's goal is to create in Ouidah a Conservatory of traditional Beninese music and rhythms to build a new generation of musicians, offering them the opportunity to study with international experts and musicians and merge the inherent wisdom of tradition with other traditions and with the study of contemporary analysis and music composition

COMMUNITAS IMMUNITAS

Both of these terms derive from the Latin word ``MUNUS ``, which means gift, office or obligation towards someone.
COMMUNITAS| IMMUNITAS is an artistic transdisciplinary, intercultural initiatìve that inquires about MUNUS in its declinations and modality, and the reciprocity and the exemption of MUNUS in shaping and regulating human relationships. The initiative will consist of: the production of a dance-theater, live music show MUNUS and the editorial production of MANTEIA - A collection of some of the most significant stories belonging to the traditional heritage of Benin’s culture.
The book and the show, born around the same thematic and realized through the same tools albeit in different artistic fields, move together, offering different translations of the same question: how to live together, navigating between the concepts of immunity and community?

DIALOGUES INÉVITABLE

From 2008 to 2012 Dialogues Inévitables (D.I.) carried out creative residencies, workshops for dancers and professional musicians, concerts, exhibitions and socio-cultural activities open to the public.(D.I.) brought together dance artists, musicians, visual artists, academics, associations, cultural agents and venues from different countries, all engaged and dedicated to the research on the phenomenon of intercultural dialogue