On Happiness - Wellcome Collection exhibition: Joy Inside Our Tears

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition


The dance floor promises a moment of euphoric release. throughout history people have danced to express religious devotion, or to subvert social expectations. Many communities use dance and movement as away to process difficult experiences and heal.

Harold offeh has collaborated with the choreographer Vania Gala on a series of online workshops bringing together artists Veronica Codova de la Rosa, Samra Mayanja, Ebun A Sodipo and Offeh to explore the restorative qualities of dance. The installation is completed by a sound work by sound designer Xana, gallery design and photographs by the artist Eloise Calandre. Originally proposed before the pandemic, the Commission was reconfigured due to physical distancing guidelines. The dancers’ movements are produced in response to a series of instructional scores such as shaking passing out and dancing in slow motion.

The work considers the complex relationship between so societal trauma and public manifestations of dance. these can be redemptive but can also hint of something darker. Full the Commission, Offeh researched the history of medieval dancing mania's. While the causes of the manias are unclear, these eruptions of spontaneous dancing in the street were viewed as either mass hysteria or as a form of spiritual possession.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


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