West Indian folk, Afro-Cuban traditional, modern dance explored at workshop

Four guest artists will help participants in the Indiana University African American Dance Company’s annual studio workshop explore dance styles such as West Indian folk, Afro-Cuban traditional and modern.

The workshop is Feb. 22 and 23 in the grand hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Culture Center, 250 N. Jordan Ave., and includes dance master classes for participants.

“The dance workshop will give anyone a great opportunity to learn various dance forms and techniques that are not usually offered in central Indiana,” African American Dance Company director Iris Rosa said. “It will also help dancers, teachers and performers connect and establish new relationships, with the hope that future collaborations will occur.”

Members of the public are also encouraged to attend two free events related to the workshop. A panel discussion featuring the guest artists will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, while a dance showcase featuring workshop highlights will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. Both are at the Neal-Marshall.

This year’s workshop features four guest artists:

  • Sheila Ward, an alumna of the African American Dance Company and professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science at Norfolk State University, where her work focuses on health empowerment through cultural awareness.
  • Alfred Baker, founding director of the West Indian Folk Dance Company, who has performed and taught Afro-Caribbean dance forms internationally.
  • Rogelio Kindelan-Nordet, director of the Folkloric Studies department at Centro Nacional de Superacion de la Ensenanza Artistica from 1982 to 1985, and professor of folkloric percussion at CNSEA Pablo Milanes Foundation and La Escuela Nacional De Artes.
  • Evelyn Yaa Bekyore, a senior performing artist with the Saakumu Dance Troupe, which recently featured “Zanu,” a work choreographed in the Ghanaian dance tradition by Bekyore.

Participants can register online. For additional information, contact Rosa at 812-855-8079 or rosa@indiana.edu.

The annual workshop is co-sponsored by the African American Dance Company, the department of African American and African Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, the African American Arts Institute and Community and School Partnership.

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