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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.

/ TRACES – INTERWEAVING WISDOM

traces – interweaving wisdom

TRACES

In Benin the strong artistic and cultural heritage of which dance and music are essential elements has maintained its identity.  In particular the body is a channel for healing processes, spiritual growth, and social cohesion, and economic sustainability. 

Movement education is key to stimulate healthy lifestyle choices, effective community engagement processes and creation of sustainable income. 

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 share experience without imposing an aesthetic style.  

FORMAT

FORMAT

Started in 2012 Traces is an ongoing  movement education program which delivers workshop, training for trainers, coaching session for project creation, knowledge dissemination in a series of relevant themes such as movement analysis and biomechanics, analysis and re-elaboration of traditional dances, rhythm and music analysis, choreographic composition, professional ethics and project building, culture and tradition of Benin.

EXCHANGE & LEARN

EXCHANGE & LEARN

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  3 -weeks  residence project  TRACES confronts them with different culturally articulated ways of organizing or accessing knowledge.

 

 

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 

TRACES has the ability to generate impact among individuals and in communities since its applicability is diverse. The method itself is designed to be adaptive to community needs and to different sections of the population. It accommodates different opportunities and adapts to local constraints. Such an approach has proven TRACES to be resilient to the challenges of operating in Benin since 2012. 

CULTURAL HERITAGE AND WISDOM

CULTURAL HERITAGE AND WISDOM 

Our  enquiry revolves around these fundamentals questions:

Is it possible that ancient values and practices maintain their validity in contemporary society? How do they adapt and manifest?

Is it possible that ancient and current performative practices could enrich each other?

How can we, as artists, look at ritual and re-elaborate the wisdom that passes through the  body in such a vivid way? The artistic and pedagogic research is informed by  the Vodoun philosophy and its expression in music and dance. The attention is captured by the structure and phasing of ritual as a performative act, where the body, the rhythm, the voice, the gesture, repetition become instruments of evocation, portals for connection and access to collective memory.  These processes translate from persona to the collective, and although structured, leave space for improvisation.

STATS

Since 2012 continues to grow and develop and on average each edition works with:

50 dance artists, musicians, movement and music educators from Benin and Togo and from abroad

50 kids and teenagers

5 to 10 independent Cultural Centres

The open events involve a general public of 200 to 300 people.

Traces is TRANSFORMATIVE

Traces is  TRANSFORMATIVE in generating an impact: 

*Behavioral change in dealing with health issues (reduced use of drugs, alcohol), in causing social inclusion in communities and in public engagement. 

*Promoting ownership from local artists and educators in management of their professional  careers. 

*Access to international network of professional opportunities 

*Establishing a dialogue with public institutions to support professional arts as means of source of income 

*Generating a spill-over effect on local economies (transport accommodation, catering, local craftsmen)

 

TEACHERS and EXPERTS

TEACHERS and EXPERTS 

Eric Acakpo:  music and cultural heritage dissemination

Francesca Pedullà:   dance, composition, movement education, cultural mediation

Frey Faust:  dance, composition  and movement education

Aliou Guessere: music

Fortin Acakpo : traditional dances

Sara Parisi: movement education and Street Dance

Isidore Acakpo:  cultural heritage dissemination

Gabriella Bazzano: economic and financial sustainability

Barbara Calì: photographer

IN COLLABORATION WITH

IN COLLABORATION WITH

IN COLLABORATION WITH:

Axis Syllabus Research Meshwork, CACO, Mairie de Ouidah,  Collectif des Acteurs culturels de Ouidah, POSIDONIA GREEN PROJECT, Wéziza Technology, 

2021

2021

2020

2019

2017

For Further Information & Registration write to: tracesformation@gmail.com