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“Dandyism” is inspired by the gentlemen of the Congo. The appropriation of the 18th Century French and English Dandy’s flamboyance by African men was a defence and a provocation against slavery, described by some as a resistance movement.  By the 1960’s African Dandyism had become a phenomenon. Through my choreography I want to embody the raw and unrefined energy and expressive dynamism of dance originating in East Africa. I want to celebrate life and cool as well as express a concern for humanism, gender and identity in our increasingly divided society.  “Dandyism” is an expression of individuality.  It is a statement of how African culture has and continues to influence Western culture and it says “we are here”.

Photo: Roswitha Chesher, GDIF
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Kate Green (DX Smithfield)

The Guardian review, Sunday 29th August 2021


"....... with snazzy costumes, Patrick Ziza’s Dandyism presents the style of Congolese Sapeurs, outrageously well-dressed men (and women), often defying their circumstances in dandyish fashions, sharp suits, hats and canes and a riot of colour. There’s a deeply political subtext to the subculture (which emerged under colonial rule) and Ziza’s infectiously energetic quartet show a dance of personality, identity, pride and playfulness, with high-stepping footwork, gentlemanly gestures and a lot of fun and funk."

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Helen Green 
Director Performing Arts & Programme Director, Sunderland Culture

Dandyism was both a visual and choreographic treat that brought something really different to Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens as part of Black History Month.  The performance was high quality and engaged an extremely varied half term audience with many children fascinated by the dance and the costumes.  

Stella Hall
Artistic Director, Festival of Thrift Redcar

This is a note to thank you for your fabulous contribution to Festival of Thrift’s success this year. The show was really tight, professional, and managed to be both exuberant and joyful – and deeply moving. The audience feedback we’ve had for Dandyism has been amazing  with huge numbers saying it was their favourite thing in the Festival.

Kate Craddock 
Gateshead International Festival of Theatre

Dandyism was such a vibrant and unexpected encounter, operating on lots of levels. It was both powerfully political and yet totally accessible and uplifting. It was wonderful seeing how the audiences around me were transfixed and how playful the performers were in their interactions. Locating the work in multiple public settings in Sunderland was really exciting, and ensured the piece reached audiences who might not have otherwise encountered this work.

Booking Information

  • Dandysim on tour involves four performers and a producer or stage manager

  • Duration of each performance is 22 minutes. We can perform twice in a day with additional walk-about if required

  • We prefer a minimum performance space of 8m x 8m, with a flat, clean and dry surface but can be adaptable

  • Our costumes are elaborate and need to be looked after. A dressing room or private area to dress in is required with the ability to hang our costumes

  • A PA system to play our music

  • Walk-about or audience join-in dancing is available

  • We are always grateful if the programming organisation can provide a chair, a bench and a coat or hat stand at the location

  • Travel cost for five people and overnight accommodation if required are additional to performance fees. Per diems are always a treat

  • Parking for a van please

For more information or to enquire about availability please complete the CONTACT US box below or email

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