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Traces Axis Syllabus Benin, OUIDAH January 27th  February 7th  2021


Initiated in 2012, TRACES is a multidisciplinary study in dance, music and choreographic creation structured by several modules. Originally addressing Beninese and Togolese artists, TRACES focuses on the transmission of the knowledge collected in the Axis Syllabus for the analysis and re-elaboration of the traditional dances of Benin. Since 2017 TRACES has woven an ever stronger link between the Axis Syllabus International Research Network and Benin's and Togo’s traditional and contemporary dance circles, by periodically organizing a residence in the historic city of Ouidah that is open to international experts and participants.

Ouidah, which is the cradle of the Vodoun culture and center of the transatlantic slave trade, is an important crossroads of the meeting of several cultures. Inspired by this history, TRACES offers a context of open research on dialogue and artistic exchange. Our intention is to transmit movement pedagogical and choreographic skill and share experience without imposing an aesthetic style. 

By inviting participants from all over the world, TRACES aspires to confront them with different culturally articulated ways of organizing or accessing knowledge.



Interweaving Wisdom


Ouidah: From January 28th to February 7th  2021


Directed by: SONAGNON Cultural Association (Benin)

In collaboration with: The International Research Network Axis Syllabus and Posidonia Green Project


With the support of: the Ouidah City Council and the Collectif des Acteurs Culturels de Ouidah (CACO)


Artistic and educational direction: Eric ACAKPO and Francesca PEDULLÀ

Assistant with artistic and educational direction: Sara PARISI

Team: Barbara KPOLMALEGNI, Mousse Abdoulay ALEDJI, Dalbert GUY

Teachers: Eric ACAKPO, Francesca PEDULLÀ, Gabriella BAZZANO and invited dancers

Musicians: Eric ACAKPO, Aliou GUESSERE and invited musicians

Photographer: Barbara CALI


Info and registration:



Links to our previous projects:


Traces Project Mission

>> Create the possibility for cross cultural encounter and exchange with the intent to

dissolve prejudice and observe differences as a value.

>>Test the impact that the encounter between different forms of art and different cultures can have on each of us. ( forse non necessario)

>> Provide enriching and stimulating contexts for pedagogical and physical skill building, as well

artistic creation.

>> Provide inter-disciplinary tools, structure them to enhance professionality and stimulate individual creativity

>> Preserve and enhance the value of Beninese culture, raising its international profile through

the encounter between locals and international visitors.

>> Sponsor local economic interactions by involving people from several related industries:

hotel services, textiles, art craft,  ransport, food preparation etc.


We are convinced that each individual, each culture in its own specificity, contributes to enriching a "universal" CULTURE.

About our organization:

Dance-artist Francesca Pedullà and musician Eric Acakpo work together since more than 10 years, teaching, creating contexts for cultural and artistic exchange and performing in Benin and abroad. They founded the Beninese Cultural Association Sonagnon in 2006 with the aim to protect and share the richness of Beninese culture and provide an exchange platform for artists from all over the world. From 2008 to 2012 they co-directed the international Project Dialogues Inévitables realized in collaboration with various cultural association and with the support of several international institutions. Since 2012 they co-direct TRACES, an anual professional educational platform for dance and choreographic practice based in Cotonou and Ouidah with the collaboration of the Axis Syllabus International Research Network.

Their artistic and pedagogic collaboration focuses on the fundamental spiritual and social roles in which dance and music are vested in Benin’s culture. Their attention is captured by the structure and phasing of ritual as a performative act where the body, the rhythm, the voice, the gesture and repetition become instruments of evocation, portals for connection and access to collective memory. These processes translate from the persona to the collective and although structured, leave space for improvisation.

President: Eric Acakpo (Benin)

Vice president: Francesca Pedulla (Italy)

Secretary: Isidore Acakpo (Benin)



The AXIS SYLLABUS is a human movement lexicon that interrelates information from anatomy, biomechanics and physics to universal movement principles. Originally consolidated by Frey Faust, the AS has become a movement and research platform for the ASIRN (Axis Syllabus International Research Network). Hailing from diverse areas of expertise, ASIRN members are exploring the kinetic potential of the human body and developing functional movement patterns beyond esthetic criteria. They are physically applying, exploring and counterchecking the data gathered in the AS and also introducing new empirical/scientific data to the group, which keeps the AS evolving constantly.

In AS classes certified teachers are fostering collaborative and explorative learning situations and propose models for a joyful way of moving in accordance with our body structure and its physical context.


What the professional formation propose?


We test the impact that the encounter between different forms of art and different cultures

can have on each of us by creating opportunities to live and work together

We provide inter-disciplinary tools.

We offer a training for local movement educators in order to hone their professional skills and offer them tools to create their independent local projects and face the international market

We make the cultural treasures of Beninese accessible by sharing them with a respectful

approach using the tools offered by the Axis Syllabus.

Workshops on Applied biomechanics and pedagogical skills

Analysis and re-elaboration fo the traditional dance and music of Benin

Field trips (ceremonies and visits to landmark sites)

Creative Laboratory and Performances

Photo Exhibition

Carnival Parade

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