Albuquerque’s Poet Laureate is headed to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bellamy will join VSA North 4th Arts Center in an artistic exchange that began in 2001

Since 2001, VSA North 4th Arts Center’s Global DanceFest has presented international contemporary dance from almost every corner of the world. Africa has been a centerpiece of the Global DanceFest, creating an enriching cultural exchange that brings African choreography, history, culture, and dancers to Albuquerqueans for far less than round trip airfare to Johannesburg. This year, The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium of MAPP International (NYC) has decided to throw “language” into the mix. Part of the experiment includes sending Albuquerque’s inaugural poet-of-record to Johannesburg, South Africa. Hakim Bellamy will be one of two U.S. contemporary artists that will join representatives of the U.S. arts presenting organizations that are members of the Consortium.

On September 28th, the delegation is headed to Johannesburg for the biennial Danse l’Afrique Danse (Dance Africa Dance!) festival. Credited with “putting African contemporary dance on the map,” the festival is designed to persuade major concert halls around the world to include this art form in their programs.

VSA North 4th Arts Center Executive Director Marj Neset recommended Bellamy for the Consortium’s consideration because of his history of interdisciplinary work beyond poetics, including dance, visual art, film, digital media, and music.

According to Neset, many of the African choreographers that the Consortium has partnered with have expressed an interest in integrating more language and lyric into their productions (aimed at touring U.S. audiences). Bellamy will observe, brainstorm, network, consult and experience both Johannesburg and the esteemed cohort of arts presenters he is traveling with. Along with Neset and one other U.S. contemporary artist, Bellamy will be joined by Laura Faure (Director of the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine) and Marc Bamuthi Joseph (Smithsonian Magazine’s Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences 2012 and Artistic Director of “Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices“).

View a short video of The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium’s Work here.

For press inquiries and interview requests contact Hakim Bellamy at tirods at gmail dot com or contact Marj Neset at North 4th Arts Center 505.345.2872.