|photo by Michael Weintrob|
This class is based in traditional Djembe dances and techniques (as practiced in the United States) and uses them as a foundation for contemporary movement invention. These dances employ beautiful polyrhythms in body and in sound that intertwine in a tradition that is both challenging and freeing. The course will integrate movement with information about the cultural context, meaning and purpose of the dances and their relationship to contemporary dance practice and will also include improvisational communication with the drums, and with the community.
Onye Ozuzu is a performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher. Her body of work fuses modern dance, West African dance, Japanese and Chinese martial arts, yoga, improvisational performance, literature and cultural studies. She has been actively making and performing work since 1997. Her work has been seen, nationally and internationally, at The Joyce Soho (NY), Kaay Fecc Festival Des Tous les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), and Lisner Auditorium (Washington DC), among others. Ongoing projects include Sambo's Sister, an exploration into the iconography of blackface minstrelsy and its intersection with ancient and contemporary mythologies; The Technology of the Circle, a group performance improvisation process; ADADIA African Drum and Dance in America, a web-based ethnographic collection of oral histories. Up-coming projects include vigorous engagement with interdisciplinary collaboration and feature works with painter, Michael Dixon, filmmaker, Stephanie Kobes, photographerk, Michael Weintrob, conductor, Fred Peterbark, and aerialist, Nancy Smith of Frequent Flyers. Onye is, currently, serving as Associate Professor in Dance at the University of Colorado at Boulder.