Mohamed Y. Shika is an artist with great potential to cross borders within the cultural understanding as well as artistic transmuting of contemporary dance for the 21st Century. His approach is, as a dancer, to examine the gap between Egypt and the rest of Africa, and to seek to conquer it through out his own body. This body-political attempt is predominantly based on his education in Egyptian, African and Asian folk dances as well as worldwide established dance techniques at major dance institutions, i.e. in Egypt (Contemporary Dance Center), West-Africa (Ecole des Sables) and Europe (P.A.R.T.S). Consequently for his scholarship the planned student/teacher collaboration with Brooklyn based African artist Nora Chipaumire will give Shika the needed insight into a specific, high-reflected artistic inner perspective: to deconstruct ancient aesthetics and imagine a new African body that contributes to an international contemporary language of culture and movement. Despite this he will gain by not only shadowing Nora Chipaumire’s transcontinental work on African-American Dance and traditional African Dance in New York and Zimbabwe, but, as a most significant aspect, taking part of her method to embody aesthetic as well as political concerns while transforming them into new poetics of dance.
Antonio Ssebuuma’s approach towards dance roots in particular in his practice and interest for teaching movement in the frame of community dance. Strongly connected in Uganda in projects that focus a socio-political impact of societies moving together, his latest works in Kampala already distinguish themselves as denotative and sensitive, but brutally honest claims towards serious issues of the unruleable environment, the dancers are based at. His attempt to now pick up studies at the Dance Department at the University of Auckland in New Zealand is just logically consistent. Being introduced into a discourse that spans it’s themes on community dance within various cultures domiciled in New Zealand. Therefore especially his contact to Dr. Rosemary Martins, former dancer, choreographer with extensive experience in research and teaching in the Middle East (i.e. Cairo) and now senior lecture at the department, shows promise for his scholarship: Martin’s research puts on focus the acculturation between art and public service, art education and international education. A dialog and exchange together with grounded theory from a dance perspective will empower Antonio Ssebuuma’s practice as artist and teacher when returning to Uganda.