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African Dance

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NEWS
January 25, 2005 | By Merilyn Jackson FOR THE INQUIRER
Sunday afternoon's DanceBoom! program offered a touchstone for the overview of African-influenced dance in Wilma Theater's festival: some straight-up African dance provided by Lisanga Ya Bana Kin, a Philadelphia-based group of mostly Congolese performers. Along with a piece by Philadanco (to be replaced by Odunde on the final weekend) and a stage-shaking outing by Kulu Mele African American Dance Ensemble, this one leaves no question about where it all began. With strong, acerbic harmonies, the six members of Lisanga Ya Bana Kin sang their piece, Gizembe, into life.
NEWS
January 6, 2005 | By Merilyn Jackson FOR THE INQUIRER
Sochenda means "the traveler" in Dagomba, a language of northern Ghana, and is the title of the featured dance in the 2005 Dance of Our Ancestors Festival presented by Swarthmore College and Temple University. Choreographer F. Nii Yartey, creator of Sochenda (so-CHEN-da), arrived from Ghana at Philadelphia International Airport last week toting enough titles to wear down any baggage handler. He is artistic director and choreographer of the Ghana Dance Ensemble, a senior research fellow at the University of Ghana, project director of Noyam Contemporary African Dance Research Project, and president of the National Committee of the International Dance Council of UNESCO.
NEWS
January 17, 2005 | By Lisa Kraus FOR THE INQUIRER
How does African dance look when standing on the shoulders of ancestors but moving into the 21st century? Kariamu & Company: Traditions, in performance Friday at Conwell Dance Theater at Temple University, presented an answer in works by Kariamu Welsh, Saleana Pettaway, and Ghanaian guests F. Nii Yartey and Joshua Ashai Trebi. Their contemporary dance rooted in tradition uses storytelling and dynamic play between movement and rhythmic music, while staying open to new cultural influences and movement languages.
NEWS
July 15, 2000 | By Rusty Pray, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Arthur L. Hall, 66, a dancer, choreographer and teacher who was responsible for raising public consciousness of African dance and culture in Philadelphia, died July 6 of colon cancer at the Camden Health Care Center in Camden, Maine. Mr. Hall, who was diagnosed with the disease in March, had been living in Maine since 1995. He was "an inspirational man," said Patrice Janssen, a Maine schoolteacher who had been taking dance class regularly under Mr. Hall for more than 10 years.
NEWS
May 11, 2009 | By Nancy G. Heller FOR THE INQUIRER
These folks know how to throw a party. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Kulu Mele, Philadelphia's oldest African dance-and-drum ensemble, held a fund-raising gala Friday at the New Freedom Theatre with a program so rich it could easily have been stretched over two evenings. Every successful party needs a skillful host, and holding together the disparate elements of this program (three short dance numbers, a poetry recitation, a documentary film, and the ostensible highlight: Mali Sadjo, a traditional West African dance drama that company members learned during a two-week residency in Guinea in December)
NEWS
June 10, 1987 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
"OK, are you ready?" is not the sort of question that usually elicits an outburst of cheers from dancers learning new material. They would be more likely to concentrate silently on the task at hand. But the sentence was the first English ever uttered by the speaker - Koffi Loccoh, director of the Djokoto Dance/Theater Troupe - and the dancers were not about to let it go unnoticed. In any cross-cultural encounter, such as the one happening this week in a studio at the Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts, every move into the other side's culture is a triumph.
NEWS
July 4, 1995 | By Dan Hardy, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Last summer, Chester Township resident Quonda Walker tried to find a local African dance class in which to enroll her daughter. She was told she would have to travel to Philadelphia to find anything of that sort. That saddened Walker, who figured that with tens of thousands of African Americans living in and around Chester, there should be enough interested parents and children to support classes. So the 36-year-old Media Post Office employee, who has relatively little formal dance training but brings an abundance of energy and a can-do attitude to everything she undertakes, decided to found her own dance troupe.
LIVING
November 21, 2000 | By Rashod D. Ollison, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Watch your step. You're entering the recently constructed Freedom Theatre, and lighting equipment sits temporarily at the top of the carpeted stairs. On the stage, 10 dancers "push, pull, turn and release" under the strict direction of choreographer Patricia Scott Hobbs. The effervescent sound of chimes and the occasional rumblings of an electric bass escape from backstage as the band warms up. You're sitting in on one of the final rehearsals for Black Nativity, which opens tonight at 7 and runs until Dec. 30. This is exciting news for many who last year missed the enraptured gospel singing and spirited African dance that makes the show, as one faithful attendant calls it, "the black Nutcracker of Philadelphia.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 3, 1991 | By Anjetta McQueen, Inquirer Staff Writer
"If the dance is pleasing, even the lame will crawl to it. . . . " So goes a saying from Africa, where dance announces births and mourns deaths, celebrates weddings and marks the start of the hunt. "African dance is from the inside out, not the outside in," said instructor Isha Imani. "You don't worry about where your feet are, unlike ballet, which is tense . . . tight. You worry about how you feel. " Imani has taught for six years at the Arts League, one of about a dozen schools, professional troupes and community centers in the area that offer African dance instruction.
NEWS
July 9, 1995 | By Denise Breslin Kachin, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Arms swing, bare feet stomp and bodies gyrate, all to the beat of African drums. Could this be a dance class? Perhaps exercise? Actually, it's both. It's Afro-bics, a pulsating combination of African dance and aerobic exercise done to the heart-pounding vibrations of congas. This is not a class to be found at any local health club or spa. Afro-bics is the brainchild of Mafalda Thomas, an Exton mother of three with a love of African dance. She believes it is great for the body and soul.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2012 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Counterprogramming was the name of the game Thursday night when Philadanco opened its three-day run at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. If audiences were disappointed that Xmas Philes , the company's popular Christmas ballet, wasn't on the bill this year, the program more than made up for it. The centerpiece of the performance was Matthew Rushing's Moan , honoring the vocals of Nina Simone, which had its world premiere in October when...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2012 | Daily News Staff Report
WEATHER — OR NOT? After the crazy-warm winter we just had, it's obvious our climate's in flux. But what does that mean? Ice core researchers Ellen Mosley Thompson and Lonnie Thompson join a team of experts for a multimedia planetary climate tour Tuesday at the Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St. Activities begin at 5 p.m.; presentation at 7 p.m. Part of the Philadelphia Science Festival; free, but requires preregistration. philasciencefestival.org . PUNCH & JESCA The Punch Brothers are more likely to sing about whiskey, but we'll have whatever they're drinking if it's what sets this five-piece to strumming and harmonizing on those bluegrass-punk tunes.
NEWS
May 11, 2009 | By Nancy G. Heller FOR THE INQUIRER
These folks know how to throw a party. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Kulu Mele, Philadelphia's oldest African dance-and-drum ensemble, held a fund-raising gala Friday at the New Freedom Theatre with a program so rich it could easily have been stretched over two evenings. Every successful party needs a skillful host, and holding together the disparate elements of this program (three short dance numbers, a poetry recitation, a documentary film, and the ostensible highlight: Mali Sadjo, a traditional West African dance drama that company members learned during a two-week residency in Guinea in December)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 24, 2007 | By SOPHIA LAMBERTSEN For the Daily News
Most of us give ourselves a pat on the back after a morning power walk or a 30-minute run. So imagine the satisfaction tap dancer Robert Burden will feel after he taps for 24 hours straight this weekend. Plus, he's doing it for charity. Burden and other local dancers will host a benefit tap concert at the Philadelphia Clef Club, 736 S. Broad St. at 7 tonight. Philadelphia tap artist Germaine Ingram will perform and the celebrated tap master LaVaughn Robinson is expected to attend.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 23, 2006 | By Ellen Dunkel FOR THE INQUIRER
As a piece of musical theater, From Tha Hip, a hip-hop show that had its world premiere Thursday night at the Prince Music Theater, has problems. It has plot holes. It has dead moments. And some of the lines are contrived or too obvious. But as an evening of dance, with live music, it is witty, full of energy, and thoroughly enjoyable. The brainchild of Clyde Evans Jr., a founding member of Rennie Harris Puremovement, From Tha Hip loosely traces the history of hip-hop through the story of a boy who moves from Trinidad to Philadelphia.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2006 | By Rob Watson INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Lee Cultural Center at 44th and Haverford doesn't look like much. Most of its doors are sealed or locked, and the windows are mostly shuttered. Get closer, and you'll see the mural of master drummer Robert "Baba" Crowder. Move in closer still, and you hear the call of live African rhythms flowing from the center's dance studio. The rise and fall. The crescendos. Those sounds emanate from the Kulu Mele African Dance and Drum Ensemble. It has called the center home for 30 years now, all because of founder Crowder.
NEWS
February 12, 2006 | Inquirer staff
What it is: The Camden-based group will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Buckingham Friends School in the first event of the Children's Cultural Center's Special Events Series for Families, which resumes after a six-year hiatus. The first performance in the four-event series, which is aimed at families with young children, recognizes Black History Month. The Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble is known for its electrifying shows, featuring stilt walkers, dancers, drummers, grand masquerades, and an acrobatic display.
NEWS
January 25, 2005 | By Merilyn Jackson FOR THE INQUIRER
Sunday afternoon's DanceBoom! program offered a touchstone for the overview of African-influenced dance in Wilma Theater's festival: some straight-up African dance provided by Lisanga Ya Bana Kin, a Philadelphia-based group of mostly Congolese performers. Along with a piece by Philadanco (to be replaced by Odunde on the final weekend) and a stage-shaking outing by Kulu Mele African American Dance Ensemble, this one leaves no question about where it all began. With strong, acerbic harmonies, the six members of Lisanga Ya Bana Kin sang their piece, Gizembe, into life.
NEWS
January 17, 2005 | By Lisa Kraus FOR THE INQUIRER
How does African dance look when standing on the shoulders of ancestors but moving into the 21st century? Kariamu & Company: Traditions, in performance Friday at Conwell Dance Theater at Temple University, presented an answer in works by Kariamu Welsh, Saleana Pettaway, and Ghanaian guests F. Nii Yartey and Joshua Ashai Trebi. Their contemporary dance rooted in tradition uses storytelling and dynamic play between movement and rhythmic music, while staying open to new cultural influences and movement languages.
NEWS
January 6, 2005 | By Merilyn Jackson FOR THE INQUIRER
Sochenda means "the traveler" in Dagomba, a language of northern Ghana, and is the title of the featured dance in the 2005 Dance of Our Ancestors Festival presented by Swarthmore College and Temple University. Choreographer F. Nii Yartey, creator of Sochenda (so-CHEN-da), arrived from Ghana at Philadelphia International Airport last week toting enough titles to wear down any baggage handler. He is artistic director and choreographer of the Ghana Dance Ensemble, a senior research fellow at the University of Ghana, project director of Noyam Contemporary African Dance Research Project, and president of the National Committee of the International Dance Council of UNESCO.
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