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Krista Wilhelmsen
African American Arts Institute

Last modified: Monday, December 5, 2011

IU African American Dance Company presents studio concert Dec. 6

Dec. 5, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's African American Dance Company will present its annual studio concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Willkie Auditorium, 150 N. Rose St., in Bloomington. General admission is $5.

African American Dance Company

African American Dance Company

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The African American Dance Company will be presenting new choreographic projects with the theme "Collaborations 2012: Finding Freedom." The students design, develop and construct choreography that illustrates various concepts of the theme, such as "individuality," "the warrior within" and "silent complacency," inspired by "P.O.W. (Prisoner of Words)," a poem by Alicia Keys.

The company will also perform selected pieces from "The Circle Will Not Be Broken," highlighting circular configurations and movements, African dance characteristics that have been carried over to the New World.

Dancers from the course "Dance in the African Diaspora" will perform pieces that represent the cultural, social and political expression and aesthetics of selected black diasporic dances. In the first excerpt, "Lamba," dancers illustrate the journey of Mansa Musa across the desert on a pilgrimage to Mecca by using arm movements that represent aspects of the journey such as welcoming gestures and carrying heavy loads.

Students of Bernard Woma's Ghanaian music, dance and drum course will perform specific Ghanaian dance and music such as Kpanlogo, referred to as "the dance to the youth," as it was born in the wake of Ghana's independence.

Guest artists will include Evelyn Yaa Bekyore, a professional dancer with the Saakumu Dance Company from Ghana, West Africa, and Woma, a master of Ghanaian xylophone who has shared the stage with Yo Yo Ma and Maya Angelou, who were performing for international dignitaries such as President Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela.

The concert is the end-of-the-semester performance for A221, F301/F609 and A100, courses offered in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. The performance is constructed to give the audience insight into what students learn in these courses by explaining the process of the dance discipline.

The African American Arts Institute is committed to promoting and preserving African American culture through performance, education, creative activity research and outreach. For more information and a calendar of AAAI events, visit the African American Arts Institute website at or call 812-855-5427. The institute's executive director is Charles E. Sykes. The African American Arts Institute is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. The ensembles are credit-bearing courses offered through the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.