Yassmin V. Foster

Scholarly Activity

Dance Knowledgeability Through the Lens of Lovers Rock

This research aims to ask and answer questions around how dance works, through the dance knowledgeability of Lovers Rock. The work will present the “crub”,  also referred to as “rub,” “rub a dub” and “scrub”, the dance movement practice which is the embodiment of Lovers Rock music. This hyper-sensual, slow, and emotive, co-authored couple dance is transmitted through the retention of Caribbean dance movement practices in Britain. The extension of Caribbean traditions and taste is reimagined in adolescent black Britons of the 1970s, who were thinking, feeling, and experiencing the effects of their presence. As the successor of Jamaica’s mid-1960s music “Rocksteady”, Lovers Rock also employs a slow, melodic, and bass-heavy instrumentation in its composition. The memorable slowness and weight of the music made for sound systems are replicated in the dance. The congruous interrelation of components creates the decorous atmosphere, that emanates from the music and musical trajectory, the sense of kinetic awareness offered by the dimly lit dance space and the energy of dancing bodies, the catharsis of lyrics that reconcile the black experience and the willingness of the crowd, are arguably the prerequisite and persuasion that has led to the practice of this dance. This invaluable research is the first of its kind and proposes to challenge what dance knowledge is in the development of personhood and community.  




Talks & lectures

  • A Time To Breathe (Greta Mendez and James Scotland) - The Theatre, London (October 2021)
  • Sound Arts Visiting Practitioner - London College of Communication, University of Arts, London (2020)
  • Collegium for African Diaspora Dance – Duke University, North Carolina, USA (February 2018)
  • Re:generations 4 Diasporic Dance: Legacies of Imagination, One Dance UK – Birmingham, UK (November 2016)
  • Black Artists and Modernism: Now! Now! In more than one place – London, UK (October 2016)
  • Dance, Diaspora and the role of the Archive – Bedford, UK (September 2016)
  • Two steps to the Left... Summercamp Symposia – Cambridge, UK (July 2016)
  • Framing the Critical Decade: After the Black Arts Movement – Bristol, UK (March 2016)
  • Collegium for African Diaspora Dance – Duke University, North Carolina, USA (February 2016)
  • Dance UK’S Industry Wide Conference, The Future: New Idea, New Inspirations – Laban Centre, London, UK (April 2015)

Grants, awards & commissions

  • Dance Passion - One Dance UK, BBC Arts, and BBC Connected Studios (September 2021)
  • Dance, Dances, Dancers of the African Diaspora – Artists International Development Fund: Arts Council England/ British Council, Toronto/ Ottawa/ Montreal, Canada (August 2018)
  • The Grain - Avantgarde Dance Company, London, UK (February 2018)