Project O


Project O is a collaboration between London-based independent dance artists Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson-Small, that arose out of a shared desire to address a crisis of movement and a crisis of confidence around issues of race and gender. Continually exploring different formats for presenting the intimacy and urgency of their politics – including choreographies for the stage, interventions in public space, a publication and a performance lecture – their practice also engages with the wider concern of writing the histories of British people from African and Caribbean descent more visibly into the fabric of contemporary performance.

O was Project O’s first work. Born out of the duo’s personal experiences of and research into culturally ingrained racism and sexism in the UK, O is a journey through the politics of identity that seeks to expose a tangible, yet often ignored, colonialist perspective which still prevails within British society. Intentionally contrived as a mess of improvised dance, the show deliberately sets out to (re)appropriate stereotypical imagery associated with cultural diversity through a series of scenes that incorporate bared bodies, audience hand-grabbing, lap-sitting and slow-dancing to a loud and eclectic soundtrack.


In the press

"I am blown away by the power of these performers, the potency of these othered bodies, faces and voices in action" Charlotte Richardson-Andrews, DIVA

Production details

  • Writer

    Alexandrina Hemsley, Jamila Johnson-Small
  • Devisor

    Alexandrina Hemsley, Jamila Johnson-Small
  • Director

    Alexandrina Hemsley, Jamila Johnson-Small
  • Choreographer

    Alexandrina Hemsley, Jamila Johnson-Small
  • Designer

    Alexandrina Hemsley, Jamila Johnson-Small
  • Number of people on stage

  • Number of people in touring company

  • Freight

    Excess baggage

    Costume and set in one large suitcase

  • Touring Availability

    From October to December 2015 and July 2016 onwards
  • Scale of venue

    Small-scale (capacity up to 400)
  • Minimum performance space

    6m x 6m
  • Text-based

    Light (very little or no text)
  • Also contains:

    Nudity, Strong Language

In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    Drill Hall Studio, Forest Fringe
  • Production dates

    24 – 29 AUGUST
  • Production times

    1200 – 1250
  • Duration

    50 MINS
  • Audience capacity




Lectures, residencies, post-show talks, interviews around the production.

Additional productions

SWAGGA; Benz Punany; Be Your Black Girlfriend (BYBG) DJ Set