From Routes to Crown I


2013 was the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Surinam. Reason enough for choreographer Gianni Grot to dig deeper into his heritage. His research led to a nadir of history; the era of the transatlantic slave trade. In his theatre piece From Routes to Crown, Gianni combines elements of hip hop, dance and spoken word to tell a story about slavery, freedom and identity.

“Dear Gianni, you blew me away with your talent and your company.A seamless organic fusion of poetry and dance. The best 21st century commentary on Slavery I have witnessed. No cliché’s or stereotype.You are an inspiration, I believe in a glowing future for your spirit of innovation and humanity.”

-Felix De Rooy- Director, writer and artist

From Routes to Crown digs deep into the shared history of Surinam and the Netherlands. The piece shows the colonial history and researches how the history still resonates in contemporary society, which is reflected by the instable relationship between ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’. This instability has an enormous impact on civilization. From Routes to Crown tells a story about the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality, which a lot of people from various backgrounds can relate to. This story takes the audience from the colonization of Africa and the Caribbean to the Black Panthers in the US and back to Dutch society. In this manner we hope to spread the message that brother- and sisterhood is the way to overcome racism.


“From Routes to Crown took my breath away from beginning to end. The piece is Insinuating, grown and affectionately made as well as performed. It covers a centuries old struggle with a sometimes invisible, but always sensible oppressor from a modern perspective.”

-Sylvana Simons- Media Personality and Co-Founder ‘The House of Power’ 

Routes, also pronounced as roots, symbolizes the mental and physical path the slaves and their descendants have undergone. Crown, stands for the victory in the struggle for freedom, it also represents the crown of the tree that branches out. All the branches of a tree are a metaphor for the descendants of the former slaves.