Cie Dju Dju Sophie Gamba Lautier
The establishment Dju Dju, based in Pau, France, is dedicated to the research and artistic creation of contemporary Afro dance. Between tradition and modernity, the interdisciplinary approach is characterized by its unique combination of open, free research and experimentation combined with a respectful approach towards acknowledging and preserving the African cultural wealth.The basic underlying assumption is that cultural education and aesthetic practices have a high potential to act as a catalyst concerning interpersonal encounters, bonds, and exchanges. Therefore the physical dance exercises and the live performance experience initiate and support both personal development and growth as well as collective change processes through group dynamics that promote social interactions.The work aims to create an artistic universe where common categorizations, stereotypes, and prejudices are reflected and questioned, opening up a space for experimentation and creation that follows a unique aesthetic of a common language and understanding despite existing differences. Therefore Dju Dju’s work is based primarily on the two axes of creative, choreographic activities and productions on one hand and training and teaching activities on behalf of the exchange and dissemination through regular workshops, observations, internships, training courses, awareness-raising campaigns, etc. on the other hand.At the interface between art and education, the association conducts workshops in schools and social settings within several educational projects and activity programs, focusing on self-efficacy, awareness, and advocacy. To implement the latter, the heterogeneity, individual physical condition, psychomotric abilities, and institutional contexts are always taken into account, and DjuDju works in close contact with the national education ministry and authorities.The project “Une autre idée de la danse africaine” is an example of an open workshop series where adolescents and adults can develop essential motor skills and new forms of artistic expression. Besides Dju Dju is currently building the center for artistic and cultural development “Center de Développement Artistique et Culturel Elijah” in Quidah, Benin, not only to create a home for their previous work but also establish an open platform for exchange and co-creation for various, cross-sectorial creative methods and informal educational approaches.Year-round, the association offers a broad range of training opportunities, internships, and collaborations to give a deeper insight into their work, share their experiences and expertise, and enable a far-reaching exchange and dissemination.