The British Council presents Dancing Before the Moon at the British Pavilion for the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, running from 20 May – 26 November 2023. 

Dancing Before the Moon takes a look at the rituals of UK diaspora communities to gain an understanding of how built spaces are used and aims to inspire debate that will challenge and influence the future of British architecture.

In 2023, the curatorial team have transformed the British Pavilion into celebratory spaces, giving audiences a chance to imagine different futures where collaboration, experimentation and equity are prioritised in the planning of space in the UK. 

Curators Jayden Ali, Joseph Henry, Meneesha Kellay and Sumitra Upham take us through a journey of new work by six UK-based artists and architects from diaspora communities. Using a mix of film and objects, they invite us to reflect on our individual, familial, cultural, societal and ancestral rituals, and how those rituals use the built space around us. 

'The 2023 British Pavilion is a space for rethinking the role that people play in shaping the built environment. It demonstrates the need for architecture to look beyond buildings and economic structures and towards everyday social practices, customs and traditions in order to meaningfully reflect how people use and occupy space.' The curators 2023. 

Watch the film to explore the exhibition and meet the collaborators who created it.  

 About the Curators:  

Jayden Ali is the Founding Director of interdisciplinary practice JA Projects and a Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins; 

Joseph Henry is a designer and urbanist, co-founder of platform Sound Advice and works as part of the Culture and Creative Industries Team at the Greater London Authority;

Meneesha Kellay is the Senior Contemporary Programme Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A);

Sumitra Upham is a curator and writer, currently Head of Public Programmes at the Crafts Council.