Bhangra, Bollywood, Guinea
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Joti Singh is a dance creator and dance innovator, sprung from the U.S. American south to parents from northern India. She is the Artistic Director of Duniya Dance and Drum Company. Joti began her dance training in Punjabi circles, carrying through her body the culture that is in her blood and memory.
Joti is a choreographer, performer, and instructor of Bhangra and Bollywood dances from India and dance from Guinea, West Africa.
As an adult, West African dance entered Joti's purview, transforming her body's culture. Through this multilingual body, Joti explores where history intertwines with contemporary continuities of celebration and injustice. She has created works such as "Half and Halves," about the Punjabi-Mexican communities of California with collaborator Zenon Barron, and "The Madness of the Elephant," about Guinea’s first president, Sekou Toure.
Joti has received funding from the Creative Work Fund, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Dancers' Group's New Stages, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, and the American India Foundation. She participated in the CHIME mentorship program and has been an Artist-in-Residence at CounterPULSE twice, most recently in their Performing Diaspora program. During this residency, Joti created the piece "Red, Saffron and Green," about the Gadar Party, based in San Francisco in the early 20th century, fighting for India's independence from Britain.
Joti and her husband, musician Bongo Sidibe, lead annual trips to Guinea and recently opened the Duniya Center for Arts and Education in Conakry. She teaches all over the San Francisco Bay Area, including Dance Mission Theater and the San Francisco School of the Arts. Joti holds an MA in South Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in English from Reed College.