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Iris Rosa
African American Dance Company

Angela Scharfenberger
African American Arts Institute

Maliwan Diemer
African American Arts Institute

Last modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Workshop provides unique opportunity to explore the black dance experience

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University African American Dance Company will host its Eighth Annual Dance Workshop on Feb. 18-19 (Friday and Saturday) at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

Dance workshop coordinators said this is the only event in Indiana to bring in national and international dance professionals who will introduce students and community members to dance forms of the African diaspora.

Iris Rosa, founder and director of the IU African American Dance Company, sees the workshop as "an opportunity to expose people to a wider scope of dance experiences." The black dance experience will be examined and shared through master classes, discussion panels and performance.

More than 15 classes in jazz, Horton, Afro-Cuban, salsa, African, modern and other dance techniques will be taught by guest artists, including:

  • Elena Anderson, a performer and teacher with Deeply Rooted Productions in Chicago and an expert in Horton modern dance technique.
  • Reynaldo Gonzalez, a dancer, musician and singer in the Afro-Cuban dance and music tradition.
  • Peace Elewonu, a professional dancer and teacher in West African dance forms and a former member of the Ghanaian Dance Company located at the National Theatre in Ghana, West Africa.
  • Willie Hinton, a jazz dance teacher and a former dancer with Dance Kaleidoscope in Indianapolis, who has taught dance in Bolivia and is currently teaching in North Carolina.

A panel discussion, moderated by Rosa and composed of guest artists, will bring an academic component to the workshop. This year's topic is "The Black Dance Experience: Engaging Youth in the Dance Discipline." The panel discussion will be held on Friday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in room A201 of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. This event is free to the public.

The weekend will culminate with a showcase performance featuring local participants and regional dance groups. The performance, which will be held at Willkie Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 6:30 p.m., is free to the public.

The dance workshop also is open to the public. Full registration includes two Friday classes and three Saturday classes for $65 (adults) and $50 (youths age 18 and under). Registration for Saturday classes only is $45 (adults) and $35 (youths). The public also can register for a single class for fees of $15 and $20. Registration will be available at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.