DUS: Ghana Grill Party In The Park


The first ever organized Open Grill Fest in the Heerdter Freizeitpark in Düsseldorf was a major success. The party was live yesterday. People attended in numbers, the weather was nice, the music was good and the atmosphere just amazing. Positive vibes with many children bouncing to afrobeats and challenging their dancing skills in a cypher. Since the event was organized quite “last minute” the advert about it was minor, as the amount of Ghanaians living in Düsseldorf and cities around, could have filled the place twice or triple times more. But so far so good, as this had taken place the first time ever, the results are encouraging for the organisers to make this happen on a regular basis. Ghanaians love dress codes for no reason I can give, but it was good to see the majority reppin´ the white on jeans look.

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It is always good to have the community together, having good times. Events like this can be seen as an opportunity in the future, to raise awareness on certain problems that affect the African diaspora in Germany – which in that sense can be targeting the Ghanaian community first. Instead of making the big fuss about development policy issues and the wellbeing in all senses, Ghanaians love to party and party hard, too much at times. I am not judging or condemning it, as I am a typical Ghanaian who loves “enije” (good/fun times) too, but there is so much more potential, which can be used to pave the way for the second generation.

One minor example out of many – it is a struggle to find participant, who are actually in need of learning the German language, in order to manage their life without depending on the help of others, but wherever there is a community based party – all problems are put aside and celebrated “small, small”. Number wise in 2009, there are about 40.000 Ghanaians documented, for living in Germany, which builds the largest migration group of Subsaharan-Africans, followed by Nigerians and Cameroonians. Now in year 2015, we are surely more people to make that last availabe statistic irrelevant. So, with more people “on board” now, I think it is highly about time to put us on the map properly with bigger and greater achievements in our personal developments or as a collective – just for example; instead of going down at all parties advertised.

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Piccadilly Circus: Movement in the city

Piccadilly Circus is the most significant place for creative heads, fashionistas, food lovers and dancers. There is a spot for dancers to train in the underground of the station, leading to the entrance of the Trocadero Game Centre. The whole area and its training spot for underground dancers highlights the fact, that this is a little secret amongst dancers and no one really knows how valuable Piccadilly tube station is with all its surroundings. This place shows the busy movement and interaction between locals and tourists. It is a road junction and public space of London´s West End in the City of Westminster. Its Underground station is located directly beneath the circus itself, with entrances at every corner. It is one of the few stations across London, which have no associated buildings above ground and is fully underground.

At daytime, dancers from all across the UK come down to jam, teach classes, train and exchange their knowledge and skills at the Trocadero. Weekend or at night time usually, dance competition are organized to keep the energy level up and encourage all to dance in the spotlight. Leicester Square lies also within the West End. Pedestrians cross there every day.

Dickens describes, that “by the 19th century, Leicester Square was known as an entertainment venue, with many amusements peculiar to the era.” (Dickens 1879)

The square remains the heart of the West End entertainment district today. It is a moving and busy place for passionate dancers. The Square is home to several nightclubs, making it often very busy, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Due to my passion for dance and my love for music and living in the heart of London city, I see the movement in the city as a choreographed dance piece.

Commuting in London city is a visual spectacle and piece of art to my eyes. The city has rhythm and is comparable to the dance scene. The common notion of movement is the change of position. Movement takes places everywhere. The way as a choreographer teaches dance routines and directs a choreographic piece; the students know their steps. Right, left, front, back, up, down, side to side are familiar terms. Its dynamics are fast, slow, hard, soft, long and short.

Focusing on London city, commuters also know their steps and how to keep the codes of the streets. Pedestrians stop and cross traffic lights, commuters get off the tube first for others to enter and intuitionally keep on the left on the underground. On busses, there is no standing on the upper deck; third push chair must be folded. Sorted that out, the bus moves! Elderly people sit in the front on the left, mothers with push chairs sit in the middle on the right and the younger generation, sit at the back and also on the upper deck. Back on the streets cars move, drive, stop, crush, name it all. Movement in London city is like a choreographed piece.

Get a  glimpse into my vision with this video:

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Journey to Madame Jojos

A sleepless night before the battle begins. It is the topic of town. The dance battle House Dance UK  in the club Madame Jojos, near Piccadilly Circus station. The place to be, as a dancer in the underground scene. The dance itself is an element of urban dance from the hip hop culture. Invented by the gay community of Chicago in the 1980s. This social dance is a combination of complex foot oriented steps with fluid movements of the upper body to give the dance a flow. All dance battles are marketed with flyers around the City. All my thoughts occur about that night.

10 pm. It´s time to leave. I grab the Oyster card and go. Getting on the tube, realizing again how it is packed. No time to be upset. Lost in thoughts for quite a while, I note down scribbles, which I take out from magazines, newspapers, everything readable around me. Tabloids are standard like Metro, Evening Standard. But on lucky days, a forgotten serious newspaper can be found and straight on read by me.

I get attention through funny moments that occur on the tube. Capturing such kind of incidents with my second best half – my iPhone. Travelling around the city as it is is always a great experience. These moments make you realize how adventurous, a commute around London can be.

Getting off the tube and walking through Soho, the heart of London, a place favoured by gays and lesbians. I enter the club. Urban life meets urban dance. I experience the transformation of human experience. Diversity in the club. The same as on the tube and central London. The center of metropolitan life style. The genre of music played in the club is a mixture of house, funk and hip hop. All dancers are trying hard to be different. Serious fashion statements are made here.

My turn to enter the competiton is soon. Heart beats. It´s time to stretch and warm up. Almost done and I hear my name to enter the battle. Get set ready and go. I dance with all my passion and feel so good. The beat, the crowd, the full package. 30seconds up. I danced my part. I did not win. You win one day and lose the other. It’s the nature of the game but the real winners are the people who can take the positive aspects and learn from them. The experience was worth it.Image