Afrocats are one of the most dynamic and energetic performance groups around! Combining the most exciting elements of dance, drama and music in our work, our aim is to create unity within diversity.
Afrocats perform and teach African, Caribbean and other forms of dance and drama. Afrocats works with all ages, groups and communities and we regularly perform at a variety of venues and events across the UK.
Afrocats is a not for profit arts organisation, established in 2003. Its founder, dancer, actor and choreographer, Magdalen Bartlett, studied Dance and Drama at De Montfort University in Bedford, and completed a City & Guilds teaching Qualification at City College in Manchester. She has trained and performed with a variety of dance artists including the Ghanian Dance Ensemble, Peter Badejo and Shikisha, amongst others.
Magdalen is both an accomplished teacher of dance and drama and an experienced workshop facilitator, who has managed and developed projects with excluded groups and people of all ages. She has worked with Contact Theatre, M6, TIPP, Manchester City College (over a five-year period), Green Room, Zion Arts Centre, Community Arts Northwest and numerous schools and youth centres.
Afrocats was a nominated finalist in the Art Council’s prestigious Art06 awards for its production of Where is Home, a theatre piece which explores the issues faced by young refugees in the UK. Magdalen has given presentations to other organisations on best practices in working with refugees in the arts.
Since creating Afrocats, Magdalen has seen it grow from its initial three members to acquiring over fifty, who have gained much publicity and recognition for their work and performances at festivals, conferences and cultural events in Manchester. The group has become an inspiration to other community groups in using multicultural dance and drama to develop young peoples’ personal and social skills.
Afrocats ethos is to create unity within diversity through integration, raising awareness using cultural arts and performance.
Afrocats have performed at many events and locations including the Refugee Cultural Festival, Unity Festival, Dancing In The Streets Festival, Garden of Delights Festival, Now We Talkin’ project at Zion Arts, Showreel at Contact Theatre, Summit at GMEX, St. Mary’s Hospital for LIME, and the Agenda 2010 Conference at Manchester Town Hall.
“I don’t know how to explain it but it’s the joy inside, you use all the strength and you think I’ve got to do it. I just love the beat, the drums and when I’m dancing, even if I’ve got problems or I’m stressed or something I just put that thing behind me.” Member of the Afrocats company
“I call it dancing with the spirit, because it’s like you dance from within, the drum plays and you move, you don’t count, you don’t think, it just happens, it’s free…” Magdalen Bartlett, Afrocats founder and co-ordinator
Magdalen Bartlett from Afrocats provides Caribbean and African Dance workshops and projects in schools predominately. These workshops are aimed at schools and groups, teaching traditional West African dance as well as Caribbean dance from Barbados.
Are you interested in ?
• African and Caribbean Dance productions • Cultural workshops in dance, drama and cooking • Bespoke projects with Refugees and Asylum Seekers • Training on how to work with marginal groups • Master Classes
Are you a teacher, adult or young person in?
• Mainstream and special needs Primary and Secondary Schools, Colleges, Universities, • Theatres, Dance Companies, Drama Schools, • Youth Clubs, • Healthcare services, • Prison, Youth Offending units • Museums and galleries
We can offer you
• Long term project work • Week long Residencies • Weekly classes • One Off Workshops
Afrocats has worked with diverse and disadvantaged young people such as Refugees and Asylum seekers, giving them an opportunity to develop themselves and educate others through workshops, discussions and performances. Afrocats was nominated for an Arts Council award and became a finalist, for this work.
Afrocats’ work focuses on;
• Developing understanding of cultural awareness and the importance of social belonging.
• Making use of cultural dances, and cookery in an experimental way to educate others about the lives and social environments of others.
• Raising awareness through Drama and discussion to combat negative stereotypes about different sectors of society.
• Promoting healthy living and wellbeing through dance
• Citizenship, gifted and talented, Enrichment projects
• combating under achievement and social inclusion by finding exciting ways of reaching young people through supporting creative thinking
Public Liability Insurance and an advanced CRB checked*
To find out more contact Afrocats today
“Without a doubt the best school workshops and performance I have ever seen. We are happy customers.” Copeland Borough Council, Cumbria
“Impressed by the approach of the group. Good sense of humour – students liked the adult approach and felt treated as equals. Presentations were very powerful and the drama/dance expertise was impressive.” Glossopdale Community College, Glossop
“Very popular – groups dropped in and out of the session as it went on” Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Manchester
“All the children really enjoyed participating and gained much from working with these people.” St. Bees Village School, Cumbria
“The day was a great success- pupils and staff all loved it.” Newfield School, Blackburn
“Engaging students with citizenship issues in a memorable way.” Ms Devine, Blackburn