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Closing of the 26th Cyprus Contemporary Dance Festival at 24th

The knowledge built, the new roads paved in dance, and the heritage created by Akram Khan›s famous team, as well as the concept of the multi-ethnic dialogue are now passed on to highly charismatic, remarkable, upcoming choreographers/ dancers through the Portraits in Otherness project. Under the guidance of Farooq Chaudhry, producer of Akram Khan Company, and a close associate of leading dancer and choreographer Akram Khan,the project consists of two dynamic solos by internationally recognized and awarded choreographers Dickson Mbi (Duende) and Joy Alpuerto Ritter (BABAE).

Without expressing specific genres or trends in dance, they bring to the stage sounds, experiences, and images that express different dance languages, which they were either taught or inherited through the history of their homeland. They are bridges between cultures, eras, knowledge and intuition. They each carry an ancient heritage, honoring traditions, while transforming and creating them in their own ways.

Portraits in Otherness continues to grow and evolve through the support of organizations such as Attiki Cultural Society, who are devoted to supporting new voices and creating a cultural landscape that reflects our culture and our times.

“Portraits in Otherness represent two important things to Akram and myself – giving back and contributing to the future of dance. We have provided each artist with the optimum artistic conditions to express their ideas, concepts and language with as much confidence and clarity at this fragile point in their careers. Just as many people did forus almost twenty years ago. We feel this is our artistic and cultural responsibility! We look forward to the stories they will tell and the stories we believe they will continue to tell in many years to come.”

–Farooq Chaudhry OBE, Producer of Akram Khan Company Αkram Khan, choregrapher

Creative Director, Curator: Farroq Chaundrie OBE

Εxecutive producer, co-production: Attiki Cultural Society

Production Manager

Light Technician: Fabien Bleisch

Technical Director & Sound Engineer: Frederic Defay

Production assistant: Margaux Karagianni

Tour Management: Geni Lou, Eleni Moustaira

Co-produced by: STEPS Festival, Akram Khan Company, Sky Blue productions, Attiki Cultural Society (Greece).


A journey, a memory, a reflection,a ritual, and a personal narrative Dickson’s Duende is a revelation of the soul, breaking the habit of concealing what makes us who we are and finding the confidence to put our soul, its history, and our feelings on display. Dickson Mbi creates an otherworldly fairy tale that brings to life the emotions revealed in these moments of light.

Developed over one year, Duende represents a significant milestone in Dickson Mbi’s artistic journey. This twenty-minute solo with an original score by Roger Goula, intuitively brings together memories from Dickson’s ancestral African heritage, his elite popping skills and his training in contemporary dance.

Dickson Mbi is a world-renowned dancer in the Hip Hop dance community. He is known for his remarkable popping skills, strong personality, powerful movement, and positive attitude. He has won many major Popping competitions including: Juste Debout UK, BattleISM, KOD and the UK B-Boy Championships. Together with his partner Brooke Milliner, he is committed to fostering new generations of dancers both within their battling crew Prototype, which won the major World Hip Hop Dance Championships, as well as with Fiya House, a Popping crew. With a background in jazz, ballet and contemporary dance, he trained at Lewisham College

& London Contemporary Dance School. Dickson won several choreographic awards and commissions: REVERB Award for Best Choreography 2015, MASDANZA Audience Award for Best Choreography 2016, National Theatre of Korea commission solo, Leave A Trace – CHVRCHES (Music Video) 2016 and OLMECA Commercial. He has featured in major TV commercial campaigns: BALLMAIN X H&M 2016, AUDI E TRON 2014. He has danced with world-leading artists including Basement Jaxx, Shallama, Robbie Williams, Corrine Bailey-Rae, Black Eyed Peas, Russell Maliphant and Boy Blue Entertainment. His work has been recognised nationally as he was nominated for three major dance awards: “Best Achievement in Dance” at the UK Theatre Awards 2017, “Emerging Artist” and “Outstanding Male Performer (Modern)” at the National Dance Awards Critic Circle 2017.


“BABAE” means “woman” in the Tagalog language of the Philippines. A 30-minute solo work inspired by the “masterpiece of strangeness”, Mary Wigman’s Witch Dance. Raised and classically trained in Germany, Joy examines inherited vocabularies, reconfiguring what it means to summon the power and mystical practices of woman as witch. Combining her roots in Philippine folk dance, classical training and vocabulary of hip hop and voguing, BABAE is a one-woman interplay between the animalistic and sensual qualities of ritual and power.

Roy Alpuerto Ritter was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. In her youth, she was trained at the Ballettschule Armin Krain and learned Philippine Folk Dance in the cultural dance group led by her mother. In 2004, Joy graduated from the Palucca School in Dresden, Germany with a dance diploma. She started working as a freelance dancer with choreographers like Christoph Winkler, Heike Hennig Wangramirez, Constanza Macras and Yui Kawaguchi. After expanding her repertory in urban dance styles, she became part of the Hip Hop and Voguing Ballroom culture scene in Berlin winning prizes in several Dance Battles like Voguing out Berlin, Defipayette, Oval Battle and Funkin stylz. In 2011 she joined Cirque du Soleil

as a dancer and aerial artist for the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour. Since 2013 she has been a dancer and rehearsal director of the Akram Khan Company. In 2016 she was nominated “Outstanding Female Dancer” (modern) in Until the Lions by the National Dance Awards UK. Since 2016 Joy has been creating her own choreographic work such as Unda (premiere at the Barbican London), Alter Egos (Sophiensaele Berlin), Heimkehr (coproduction LOFFT das Theater), rOOms. With her solo work Babae, she has found international response as a Choreographer and is one of the Aerowaves artists 2020.

Her work as a choreographer established new collaborations with Akram Khan (UK), Ballett Black (UK), Chen Shi-Zheng (New York), Riz Ahmed (UK), Viviana Durante (UK), Floria Sigismondi (USA/ CA), Florence and the machine (UK). As a teacher, Joy has been giving workshops worldwide and has created commissioned works at SEAD - Salzburg Experimental Dance Academy, DAF- Dance Arts Faculty in Rome and Beijing Dance Academy in China.

Workshops 25/6 @Rialto theatre

Addressed to dance professionals and students (Free participation)

Hybrid Movements by Joy Alpuerto Ritter ― 9:00 - 10:30

The workshop will include improvisation and the dancers will be working on different ideas and body positions, aiming to develop their creativity and personal expressive qualities. It will be centred around the waving technique, rhythmic and ground exercises. Body rhythm and musicality will be also explored.

Workshop with Dickson Mbi ― 11:00 - 12:30

Dickson Mbi is a world-renowned dancer in the hip hop dance community for his popping skills, integral to his work today. Through this workshop, he shares his practice and experience working with leading artists Basement Jaxx, Shallama, Robbie Williams, Corinne Bailey-Rae, Black Eyed Peas, Russell Maliphant and Boy Blue Entertainment. Contemporary dance, martial arts and popping techniques, with a particular focus on improvisation, release, floor work, partner work, and performance techniques shape his workshop. Starting with a warm-up, Dickson will lead the participants through his solo work, performed as part of Portraits in Otherness.

Organised by: Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth & Rialto Theatre

Media Sponsors: Phileleftheros Newspaper, Αctive 107.4, CyBC

In collaboration with: Dance House Lemesos

Supported by: Limassol Municipality, Lemesos Newspaper, Limassol Today, Lemesos blog, ETAL, Vestnik Kipra, Russian Wave, Social et al.

Τechnical Support: Event Pro I Awarded: EFFE LABEL

Tickets: € 8 (€ 30 for all performances)

Free entrance for students, soldiers, pensioners and dance professionals

Free transportation from Nicosia to Limassol

Departure from the Cyprus Handicraft Centre (Athalassa Avenue) Departure time: 19:00 I Information: 99 618225

More information:

Rialto Theatre, Friday, 24th of June 2022, at 20.30

E-ticket:, Rialto App

Rialto Box Office : 77 77 77 45

(Mon – Fri: 10:00 - 15:00 and 2 hours before the performance)

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