John Agesilas, Born in 1970 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, came to Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1986.
Raised by a Ghanaian Mother and a French father; the drums of African Music, the sound of Jazz, the flow of Disco and funk were all prevalent throughout his childhood. However; it was not until he discovered the culture of Hip Hop and its pioneering Break Dancing that inspired John to become a dancer at the tender age of 13. By the time he was 18, John had become one of the founding members of the Jazz Dance Group AJDJazz and later a member of the “Southern Roots Jazz Dancers”, a collective of Jazz dancers who are still performing all over Europe today.
His ambitions have no limits and his impeccable talent got him to Choreograph and tour internationally with mayor artists such as the Pointer Sisters, Jocelyn Brown, Sister Sledge, the Metropole Orchestra, the New cool collective and Donna Summer just to name a few. Aside from a broad roster of artists with whom John performed he also holds an extensive resume that includes his name on all major Dutch Music festivals, TV shows, commercials, clubs, fashion shows, magazines and noteworthy gigs such as choreographing Amsterdam Arena’s Bollywood opening performance. In light of the above, it is obvious that John has given a remarkable contribution to the world of dance on both the Dutch and international dance scene.
Further expanding his career, John was also able to create opportunities in the corporate world, becoming one of the leading choreographers to produce fashion shows for brands such as Nike, Adidas, Vivienne Westwood, Evisu, Bjorn Borg and Paul Smith. He was also one of the first dancers in his genre to introduce a ground braking “Jazz” dance act to the Theatre. Produced in collaboration with Mojo Theatres, John debuted his self directed and produced jazz act “Intrepertationzz”, a theatre show of different Urban Dance styles on jazz music. The show went from being a moderate dance group performance at Amsterdam’s characteristic nightclub Panama and rapidly galvanized into a full sized ensemble that consisted of eighteen cast members including an eight piece live band with musicians, all of whom went touring around Europe.
With devotion and dedication to dance, John is one of few people who has been able to recognise career potential with dance and music in other industries that by traditional standards could be considered unconventional. It is therefore not peculiar that he found his way into the music industry, excelling as a renowned MC and becoming one of the founding members of DJ’s and THE Voice of Risk Sound System; a 3 man DJ collective who’s goal is to promote and preserve “real” House Music and deep soulful House culture worldwide.
With RSS, John has collaborated with like-minded DJ’s and Producers such as Kenny Dope, Kerry Chandler, At Jazz, Mr V, and Louis Vega. Producing two 1 House hits which includes, “The Sound Is Your’s Remix (Kerry Chandler) and “Grow” featuring AtJazz, reaching #13 in Africa’s House Music top 100Their success has also led the collective to become a collaborating partner of Dutch Music Festival ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) as DJ’s and bookers.
Although still teaching at Amsterdam’s University for the Performing Arts AHK/5 O’Clock and Ballet Academy Lucia Marthas, John always searched for other ways to contribute to the world of dance. Through his persistence, hard work and passion for his art form, this has led John to contracting with the World’s biggest Dance Battle Event Juste Debout, for which he became the franchise holder and organizer for the Netherlands in 2009 and the host of not just the Dutch edition but also the French Finals in Paris. Juste Debout further eclipsed his career, as a businessman, emerging into one of Holland’s most relevant Promoters as he spawned off his own Dance festival “Summer Dance FOREVER”. Currently Amsterdam’s biggest Dance festival with John as the Creator, Artistic Director and Host not only introduced a simple yet seemingly unique formula to the battle culture (a battling concept where the judges end up battling remaining finalists), his festival also cultivated and rejuvenated the level of dancers in the Netherlands. John has a distinct vision for the future of dance and his philosophy with FOREVER is unblemished.
It’s about bringing back the social aspect to the dance floor and battling culture the way John experienced it years ago. With FOREVER he aims to put House culture back on the map and reintroduce the importance and relevance of DJ’s, known to be the foundation to dance culture and is largely responsible for the success of his FOREVER events.
“We often forget where things started or loose awareness on how this culture is a tool for social change. “I want to bring back this awareness and show that Hip Hop culture is just as relevant as for instance, a theatre as it is in the streets”. Looking back at 30 years of accomplishments one could say, that with FOREVER as the next move in his career, John is in some way coming full circle as he takes it back to where it all began, concluding that, Hip Hop didn’t change his life, It started it! I think this whole sentence needs to be looked at as it doesn’t read well at the moment. Read more