NANA YAA ASARE-BOADU
Defined by a captivating allure of sophistication, New York-based artist and fashion designer Nana Yaa Asare-Boadu tells stories through movement. A form of powerful self-expression, her improvisational art does not originate from a formal dance education, but from long nights of insomnia. Influenced by her Ghanaian-British upbringing and years of solo travel, Nana reacts to the interplay of her emotions and her surroundings – the touch of a fabric or the sunlight hitting the wall. In our recent episode of AERONOGRAPHY, we asked the artist about the shifting world, and what it means to be a woman today.
AERON: What stories do you tell through dance?
NANA YAA: I emote feelings, things that happen in my life both good/happy/turmoil/bad/sad. I also activate spaces, everything I do is to improve. I'm not a professional dancer, I've never had a dance lesson. There's always a bit of hesitation and until I let go completely and become immensely vulnerable, I let fragments of my soul free after a performance. It's so liberating.
Do you feel you were born at the right time?
I do, but I would have loved to experience the 1930s in Paris as a black woman, and also the late 1960's early 1970's in Paris, New York, and London. Interesting conversations about politics, art, and life. Yes, definitely would've loved that!
What music inspires you and influences your movement?
It's not always music that influences my movement, but also space, form, and silence. It could be the way someone is sitting to be way more abstract like the ripples of water and the way clouds form and move. But music ranges from classic to Thundercat, alternative, anything that sparks a reaction within me.
You have lived in many cities around the world. How have these experiences and cultures influenced you?
It's made me open-minded and free to move like a butterfly. But in this current Covid situation we are all in, it's definitely frustrating. That's one thing I crave, to see and be taught new ways of seeing and experiencing.
What human values do you appreciate the most?
Probably honesty, trust, loyalty, and love. Not many people have these qualities though, a lot of the time people always have ulterior motives. When you find people who do have this, cherish them…
How have you maintained a sense of structure and balance over the course of the pandemic?
I won't lie, it's definitely been challenging. But it’s also been healing, being kind to myself, sitting in stillness, and allowing all emotions to do as they please. I don't really know how to structure myself sometimes, I think it's all about being…