‘Potpourri of the Arts’ mixes music and dance from three different IU ensembles Nov. 7

Post courtesy of newsroom intern Tori Lawhorn:

Indiana University’s African American Arts Institute will present its annual “Potpourri of the Arts” concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., in downtown Bloomington.

General admission for adults is $20. Children under 12 years old and students are $10.

Created in 1993, “Potpourri of the Arts” is a combination of performances by the African American Dance Company, the African American Choral Ensemble and the IU Soul Revue.

The purpose of this event is to embody the spirit of African-American performance through all three of its ensembles. Each group will perform separately, with the exception of a collaborative finale.

This year’s theme is “Groovin’ Together.”

Junior Kelaiah Awoyemi said she likes the family aspect of her group, the African American Choral Ensemble.

African American Choral Ensemble

The African American Choral Ensemble will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year.

“We support, encourage, and motivate each other to do our very best, whether in academics or personal situations,” she said. “Our director, the amazing Dr. Raymond Wise, has made it very clear that we are a family and we will work together to achieve greatness.”

This is Awoyemi’s third time performing in “Potpourri of the Arts.”

“It is truly something special when the performing ensembles get together and expose the audience to various types of African and African-American music and dance,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being able to see what the other two ensembles in the African American Arts Institute will perform, and coming together to make something great.”

This year is the Choral Ensemble’s 40th anniversary. To celebrate, Awoyemi said, they are singing some of the same spirituals performed at their first concert 40 years ago. Some songs include “I’ve Been Buked” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Senior Imani Rameses said she likes the cultural lessons her ensemble, the African American Dance Company, teaches her.

“The African American Dance Company challenges its members and its audiences to better understand and appreciate the African and African American diaspora,” she said. “What I love about AADC is the opportunity to explore a broadened mentality of ‘what is dance?’ Professor Iris Rosa introduces the company to countless genres of dance.”

This is Rameses’ second time performing in “Potpourri.”

“What I love and continue to look forward to each year is the opportunity to perform with all the ensembles,” she said. “The African American Arts Institute has some of the most natural talent I’ve ever witnessed. The singing, the dancing, and the soulfulness exuded by such young talented artists, is enticing and truly inspiring.”

African American Dance Company

The African American Dance Company will perform “Visions of the Past Actual Realities.”

The dance company will perform the piece “Visions of the Past Actual Realities,” Rameses said.

Senior Bobby E. Davis Jr. said what he likes most about the IU Soul Revue ensemble is its diversity.

“There are people who come from different cultural, ethnic, musical and academic backgrounds who all are given the opportunity to understand, embody and fall in love with Black popular music,” he said.

As Davis prepares to perform in a fifth and final “Potpourri” as an undergraduate, the folklore and ethnomusicology major again looks forward to sharing cultural traditions with a diverse audience.

“Once the show begins and the first downbeat hits, both the audience and the performers become a community where all of us are able to share, love and respect African American music and culture,” he said.

About the African American Arts Institute

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 or call 812-855-5427.

The African American Arts Institute is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. The institute’s executive director is Charles E. Sykes. All three ensembles are credit-bearing courses offered through the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

IU Soul Revue

The IU Soul Revue is one of three ensembles performing in “Potpourri of the Arts.”

Tags: , , , ,