Thomas Talawa Prestø

Anansis Web

Østfold University College, The Norwegian Theatre Academy

The Anansi Web is a research project led by Thomas Talawa Prestø, which focuses on the use of ancestral African diaspora dance as a tool for decolonization and resistance. The project employs theocorporhythmic practices to understand Africana dance practices and incorporates the concept of Choreonommo, a genre of choreography and performance creation that incorporates the Dogon concept of Nommo. The project explores the interconnectedness and complexity of Africana dance practices and uses commitography as a tool to understand and shape the conditions of artistic creation and the artistic landscape. The body is conceptualized as a polyspirited and polyconducted entity, capable of embodying community, ancestors, spirits, elements of nature, cosmological forces, and deities. The lecture will cover these central concepts and their application in the Anansi Web project, especially in regards to rhythm, communication, embodiment, and roots.

Thomas Prestø is a well known choreographer, Artistic Director of Tabanka Dance Ensemble and the developer of the Talawa Technique. He is a research fellow at Østfold University College, currently pursuing a decolonial doctorate called Anansis Web. Thomas has led committees across Nordic countries, taught in over 30 countries and is a respected contributor in the field of African and African diaspora dance. His pioneering work in translating traditional, spiritual, and social dance practices into artistic work for the stage has helped expand the reach of these practices while maintaining cultural integrity.