About Adesola Akinleye: 

DR. ADESOLA AKINLEYE (she/they) is a choreographer and artist-scholar and co-artistic director of DancingStrong Movement Lab. They are an Assistant Professor in the Dance Division at Texas Woman’s University. They have been an Affiliate Researcher, MITArts Culture and Technology, and Visiting Artist at Center for Art, Science and Technology at MIT, and a Theatrum Mundi Fellow. Their career began as a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem Workshop Ensemble(USA) later working in UK Companies such as Green Candle and Carol Straker Dance Company. Over the past twenty years they have created dance works ranging from live performance that is often site-specific and involves a cross-section of the community to dance films, installations and texts. Adesola’s work is characterized by an interest in voicing people’s lived-experiences in Places through creative moving portraiture. A key aspect of Adesola’s process is the artistry of opening creative practices to everyone from ballerinas to architects to women in low-wage employment to performance for young audiences. Adesola’s publications include the editing and curation of Narratives in Black British Dance: embodied practices, Palgrave Macmillan, shortlisted for One Dance UK’s Impact in Dance Writing Award (2018). Editing and curating the anthology (re:)claiming ballet (2021), Intellect books. Adesola’s first monograph, Dance, Architecture and Engineering: dance in Dialogue, Bloomsbury (2021) is part of the Society for Dance Research, In Conversation series and was included on the MIT Summer Reading List 2021. Adesola’s most recent book Navigations: scoring the moment was published by Theatrum Mundi in 2022. Adesola is published in peer-review journals including the Journal of Dance Education, and Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices as well as contributed chapters to several anthologies most recently Dancing Un-Visible Bodies. In: Musil P., Risner D., Schupp K. (eds) Dancing Across the Lifespan. (2022) Palgrave Macmillan, and For Kaydence and her cousins: health and happiness in cultural legacies and contemporary contexts in Van Styvendale, N., McDougall, J. D., Henry, R., & Innes, R. A. (Eds.). The Arts of Indigenous Health and Well-being. Univ. of Manitoba Press (2022).  Adesola is a member of the Dance Research Journal editorial board.  



with Bare Feet

(Truth  Transparency)

Archiving with Bare Feet is an archival project that documents the artistic process and performance of Climbing with Bare Feet (the choreographic process), and Truth & Transparency (the final performance work). This work took place in the UK with research undertaken in the USA. 


This archiving challenge was instigated by Siobhan Davies Studios in 2023. This archival project questions how we archive dance from my Black, female presenting, choreographic perspective which places me outside the British dance mainstream, particularly when and where I was making this work in 2007 in London. 


 The choreographic process Climbing with Bare Feet and the performances of the final work, Truth & Transparency took place between 2006 – 2008.  The final 2007 performance work was for three dancers (two visible performers and one dancer manipulating projected image onto the performance space using a mirror). The work was inspired by Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’ and my concerns and reflections on bringing up two Black children soon to be moving into their teens in London (This was a time before such concerns were articulated through the ongoing demand that Black Lives Matter). The making process researched Step and Crumping dance forms as well as foreshadowed new technology using projection in real-time to manipulate the audience’s perception of dancers and space.


This brief archive shares ideas and footage from the original process and performance alongside reflections and restaging that explores the longevity of the work. The archive suggests choreographic work itself is something that lives outside of a particular time and instead lives more across the ongoing creative processes and the applied artistic knowledges it generates.



Akinleye, A. (2016). Narrating Spaces. In P. Brookes (Ed.), Black Women in Dance: Stepping out of the barriers. UK: Serendipity Artists Movement Ltd.


Ellison, R. (2001). Invisible man. London: Penguin.


Glissant, E. (1997). Poetics of relation. Wing, B.Transation, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.


Nyongó, T. A. (2019). Afro-fabulations: the queer drama of black life. New York: New York University Press.


Olafur, E., Tuyl, G. v., & Broeker, H. (2004). Olafur Eliasson: your lighthouse: works with light 1991-2004. Ostfilden-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Verlag.


Webb, M., Bartolucci, M., & Cabra, R. (2003). Ingo Maurer. San Francisco, Calif.: Chronicle; London: Hi Marketing distributor.


White, S. (Director). (2007). Stomp the Yard. In Rainforest Films (Producer). USA: Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems.


Funding & Awards

Dance Northwest, Residency Choreolab 2006

ADAD Trailblazer Award, 2006

Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award, 2006

Arts Council England, under 5,000 grant, 2006

Siobhan Davies Studios, Artist Archive, 2023