Dandyism is centuries old, and for the original African dandies, it represented male empowerment and post-colonial freedom.
African Dandies appropriated the flamboyance of the 18th Century English & French gentlemen in defiance against slavery, referred to by some as a resistance movement.
By the 1960s it had become a phenomenon, a way to preserve a legacy of African culture and challenge conventional male stereotypes. More recently Dandyism has encompassed the fight for gender equality by the Congo’s Female Dandies movement.
Dandyism is a celebration of style and cool as well as a concern for humanism, gender and identity in our increasingly divided society.
In this new performance work choreographer Patrick Ziza explores the Dandy’s fashion and style as an assertion of freedom, the evolution of this cultural phenomenon into a modern-day norm, and how it relates to exploring, respecting and valuing individuality in the 21st Century.
Dandyism is flamboyance: dress sharp and present your best self.
Choreographer Patrick Ziza moved to Gateshead from Rwanda as a teenager. As a choreographer he has developed his own style of movement, embodying the raw, unrefined energy and expressive dynamism of dances originating in Central East Africa.