At the International Slavery Museum

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A Liverpool Slave Ship by William Jackson in 1780
A Liverpool Slave Ship by William Jackson in 1780

This exhibition explores the experiences of Black British dancers from 1946 to 2005 and highlights their contributions to British dance.

It will look at the origin of a variety of dance forms such as jazz, contemporary, ballet, hip-hop and African People’s Dance. Many of these styles arrived in the UK through varied routes taken by ancestors of today’s Black British citizens.

As well as studying dance forms, British dance: Black routes will also look at dance groups and feature the relatively untold story of Elroy Josephz. Despite being a trailblazer, his name is largely absent from the mainstream history of British Dance.

Elroy was a dancer, teacher, actor and producer who came to Britain from Jamaica in the 1950s. He performed on stage in the West End and appeared on TV in West Side Story and Doctor Who. He toured his own dance company internationally developing his own style of dance which fused African Caribbean forms with those of Europe and Asia.

He would later teach dance students in Liverpool and London before becoming one of the UK’s first Black dance lecturers in 1979 at what is now Liverpool John Moores University.