Our new Artistic Director Keisha Thompson teams up with Contact Young Company to direct their Autumn show!
Inspired by the Halo Code, a campaign fighting for the protection and celebration of Black hair and hairstyles, Halo explores young people’s experiences in schools and workplaces in regards to their hair.
Featuring songs and movement inspired by the Halo Code itself, the company will also bring to the narrative their responses to writer Emma Dabiri’s book, Don’t Touch My Hair and the well-known Solange Knowles song of the same name.
The astoundingly talented Al Conteh has been brought on board as the assistant director to work alongside director Keisha Thompson, bringing his own skill set as a dancer, animator, poet, videographer and musician to the table.
Together, they will push the young company to fuse and share all they know and do not know about halos to create an epic, unique, timely and beautiful theatrical celebration of black hair.
“As Artistic Director and CEO of Contact, my priority is to ensure that all staff, participants and artists are protected and celebrated for who they are. The Halo Code is closely aligned with my mission, and I’m personally invested in protecting the rights of our community to wear culturally specific hairstyles, such as the afro, without restriction or judgement.” – Keisha Thompson
Post Show Discussion – Tues 25 October
Following Tuesday’s performance, we’ll be hosting a post-show discussion with some very special guests:
- Charlene Shaw – Teacher, Birchfield’s Primary
- Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury – Academic (Teaching & Research) Senior Lecturer, Manchester University
- Curtis James – REACH (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage) colleague inclusion network at The Co-operative Bank.
About The Halo Code
The Halo Code is a campaign pledge, signed by schools and businesses, that promises members of the Black community that they have the “freedom and security to wear all afro-hairstyles without restriction or judgment”. This includes any child who wishes to wear their hair however they choose to in school.
Edwina Omokaro, co-Founder of the Halo Collective said, “No one should have to change their natural or protective hairstyle in order to thrive. Together, we will ensure that all Black people can learn, work, and live free from hair discrimination.”
Contact Young Company (CYC) is Contact’s renowned, Manchester Theatre Award-winning young ensemble. CYC is made up of young performers, actors, dancers, musicians, stand-up comedians, poets and MCs. Learn more here.
There is integrated audio description and captions used in all performances.
Contains themes exploring systemic racism and young people’s lived experiences of hair discrimination. Whilst the themes are challenging, they are approached with joy and care.
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