4 September 2012 at 1.25pm | 1 Comment
This weekend, the Royal Opera House was transformed into a hub of all things African for Deloitte Ignite 2012, a three-day contemporary arts festival curated by critically acclaimed artist Yinka Shonibare.
Yinka - whose sculpture Globe Head Ballerina will adorn the outside of the Royal Opera House for the next five years - envisioned Deloitte Ignite 2012 as Africa Weekend, a celebration of traditional African and avant-garde arts and culture.
The festival opened with a discussion between Guy Caseley-Hayford (who recently wrote a blog for us introducing African art) and Yinka, who spoke of his upbringing, his art and the inspiration behind it. Watch a recording of the conversation.
The discussion was followed by a vibrant concert from Afrobeat drummer extraordinaire Tony Allen, who was joined onstage by musicians including Damon Albarn and singer-songwriter Martina Topley Bird.
Over the course of the weekend, the piazza was transformed into an open-air cinema for Africa in the Piazza; visitors relaxing in deckchairs to watch free film screenings of the best in classic and contemporary African film. Inside, the house was a hive of activity with free dance, story-telling and drumming workshops. Find out more about aspects of African culture including music, film, fashion and dance with our series of introductory blogs. Victor Gama’s Instrumentos, an interactive exhibition of beautiful contemporary musical instruments, also drew a steady crowd of people to the Paul Hamlyn Hall.
On Saturday night, the Royal Opera House swapped Puccini for Radio 1 Xtra's DJ Edu, who took to the stage in the Linbury Studio to host a Club Night. The evening also included performances from special guests Bumi Thomas and Debra Debs.
Following the buzz of Deloitte Ignite 2012, the Royal Opera House is now looking forward to the start of the new season, which opens on 7 September with Three & Four Quarters in the Linbury Studio Theatre and The Ring Cycle on 24 September on the Main Stage.