Two brown girls dream of being dancers-but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or what makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten either. Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her old friend leaves the neighbourhood far behind, travelling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.
But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey-the same twists, the same shakes-and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history but a present dance to the music of time.