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Black Victorians created by Jeanefer Jean-Charles

Free event: Book a ticket

Artistic Director and Choreographer, Jeanefer Jean-Charles’ dance performance explores and challenges historical and contemporary perceptions of black people in history through choreography.

Black Victorians is inspired by the discovery of hundreds of studio photographs of black men, women and children in England from the Victorian era, airbrushed from our society for over 100 years.

Picture dancers dressed in restrictive Victorian costumes, shedding them in rebellion as they dance in African, contemporary and hip-hop styles re-imagining a moment in history. Their movement will invoke their origins in powerful ways, bringing voice and body to the portraits that inspired us.

Exploring a complex, but often forgotten black presence in pre-Windrush Britain, this performance calls attention to previously hidden figures and challenges historical and contemporary perceptions and gives voice and body to the characters in the portraits.

Performed with Milton Keynes’s iconic Peace Pagoda as a backdrop, Black Victorians is a performance that gives audiences a chance to experience history, as told through choreography.

Creative Director & Choreographer: Jeanefer Jean-Charles Jeanefer is a globally respected artist, specialising in large-scale outdoor performances. Since starting her journey as Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Bullies Ballerinas’ Jazz Dance Company, her work has taken her to over 21 countries. Her unique creative process aims to bring to life the talents, strengths and shared stories of local communities and artists in inspiring and unforgettable ways.

Her career highlights include the role of Mass Movement Coordinator for all four of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies and Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected in Cardiff, Artistic Director for The Rugby League World Cup Opening Ceremony (2013) and directed Spirit of Woolwich in the Transe Express Cristal Palace show for Greenwich Festival’s Global Streets event (2019).

Read more: www.jeanefer.com

Designer: Marsha Roddy
Producer: Alison Holder
Composer: Danilo DJ Walde
Poet: Anthony Anaxagorou
Rehearsal Director: Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster
Writer: Hassan Mahamdallie 
Creative Consultant: Martha Stylianou
Stage Manager: Cynthia Franklin
Creative Dance Artists: Melissa Bravo, Dani Harris-Walter, Oluwaseun Olayiwola, Nosiphiwo Samente, Duja Sinada

Read about the exhibition that inspired Black Victorians - Black Chronicles II curated by Renée Mussai at the Autograph Gallery in London (2014): autograph.org.uk

Duration: Approximately 40 minutes


This is an outdoor event, please dress for the weather.

Registered Assistance Dogs are welcome, though we ask that you do not bring pets to Festival events. Camping and BBQs are not permitted. So that everyone can view performances, please don’t bring tents, gazebos, windbreaks and large umbrellas. Please do not bring glass and bottles into the Park. Thank you.

Covid-19 Safety The safety of our audiences, artists, volunteers and staff is our highest priority. As well as following all government and industry guidelines, we’re working closely with specialist safety advisors to ensure all our event locations are Covid-safe and secure for everyone. We will update more information between now and the Festival.

Access information

The Festival aims to be as accessible as possible and welcomes people with disabilities. We always welcome specific access enquiries - you can email us at access@stables.org or call the Box Office on 01908 280800.

Assistance Dogs Welcome
Assistance Dogs Welcome at this event
Disabled parking available for Blue Badge holders
Disabled parking available for Blue Badge holders
Drop Off and Pick Up Point available
Customer Drop Off and Pick Up Point is available
Assistive Listening and Hearing Loop available
Disabled toilets available
Disabled Toilets available
Wheelchair Accessible event
Wheelchair Accessible
Family Friendly event
Family Friendly event
Outdoor event
Outdoor Event

Additional access notes

Vocaleyes to provide Audio Description for Saturday 24 July for the 3pm performance  – please contact access@stables.org to book a place.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Point available for wheelchair users https://goo.gl/maps/NBGQNs3gjTp77zXS6

Along the road leading to the identified accessible carpark https://goo.gl/maps/s73qnPLANkmdVDNo7 there are a number of speed humps and potholes - please drive carefully. 

Paved route from access parking to the Peace Pagoda is approximately 10 mins walk/ wheel

Close to The Pagoda there is a long slope approximately 1:14 gradient leading to Pagoda - wheelchair users may require an assistant.

The area surrounding the Pagoda intended for audiences is firm ground.

Trackway may be applied to grass surface dependent on weather. 

Please email: access@stables.org if you have any concerns about accessing this site

If ticket availability is showing as Sold Out, please check back again as standby tickets may be released prior to the date of the event.