Reflecting on Diagonal Coffee Break Series and season 2


Our partner Katie from Dance Art Journal gives her insight into conversations with several dance entrepreneurs

Behind-the-scenes with Katie Hagan (she/her), founder of dance art journal. Written by Katie herself.

Everything starts with a great conversation. I have learned that during my time collaborating with diagonal dance on their Coffee Break series via Instagram Live, a monthly event in which dance art journal and diagonal dance work in partnership to interview independent dance artists and organisations from across the dance sphere. Conversations are key to the exchange of experiences and ideas. The Coffee Break series provides a space for just that, opening up dance to the entire world.

What’s good about Coffee Break?

Without a doubt, the monthly Diagonal Coffee Break series is a staple of DAJ’s offering! Although we are known as a collective that writes about dance, this video interview series provides an opportunity to engage with artists in a slightly different way from what our audience expects. Being able to have informal conversations with artists creates an online space for viewers – and Diagonal and DAJ! – to dig a little deeper into an artist’s practice and work. You can find out so many little nuggets of information during a live video chat.

Who did we speak to?

So far, the guests we’ve invited to participate in this series have come from various creative pathways and intersections. Episode 9 saw Diagonal invite dance artist Avatâra Ayuso for a chat. Together they spoke about Avatâra’s ventures including AVA Dance Company and AWA Dance Charity UK. AWA Dance is dedicated to the leadership development of women and girls, using the transformative power of dance as a tool to empower their voices. Bernardo and Inês lead an insightful discussion that traversed Avatâra’s journey, where she highlighted the importance of creating a global dance community. Episode 12 saw me (Katie) speaking to independent dance artists Seun and Iris about the challenges they’ve faced as freelancers over the past year. The conversation meandered into other areas including the need for more dance-writers-in-residence opportunities.

Other artists we’ve interviewed include and every conversation are highlighted on YouTube:

Each of these creatives had a poignant story to tell, whether it be in relation to dance writing, queer dance history, or colonialism. Because of the open nature of the Coffee Break Series, we were able to create an opportunity to unpick these topics and show the artists’ personalities to our communities. I am grateful to be playing a part alongside diagonal in sharing these narratives with both DAJ’s and diagonal’s ever-growing audience and look forward to what comes next to the second season. Each season features 6 episodes.


Written by Bernardo Queiros

Bernardo is a creative thinker who always comes out with the boldest ideas. With a background in music, he works in content marketing and social media management.

Posted August 7, 2021

Listed in: Blog | Featured


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