February 7-9, 2014, scholars, practitioners, educators, and supporters of African Diaspora Dance will convene for the first “Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance” conference at Duke University. I’m a founding member of THE COLLEGIUM FOR AFRICAN DIASPORA DANCE and I look forward to presenting "Bring de Power: Orisha Dance as a mobile technology of African Diasporic identity-making" for the Opening Plenary.
Bring de Power is a global transnational historical research project. The research navigates through West Africa, Western Europe, the United States, Venezuela, Grenada, St. Vincent, and Trinidad in seeking new critical understandings of history and identity in the African diaspora. The embodied aspects of that research explores how Orisha dance, which bears unique transfigurativisms of those distinct cultural histories, can be embedded into the improvisatory dance practices of contemporary dance artists and create new choreographic, movement, and performance processes. This research underscores my newest work, "Speech Sounds".
"Speech Sounds" preview at New York Live Arts, June 2013.
"Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance" aims to re-ignite the discourse on defining black dance on a global scale by bringing together scholars, practitioners, educators, and other stakeholders for three days of intellectual and artistic inspiration. Anchored by keynote speaker and Urban Bush Women founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and provocative research presentations, the conference will also feature breakout sessions, movement workshops, film screenings, and a premiere performance by Urban Bush Women culminating their Duke residency. The conference committee intends to produce a volume of materials presented at the conference in an edited anthology.
THE COLLEGIUM FOR AFRICAN DIASPORA DANCE
Conference Committee|CADD Founding Members:
Takiyah Amin, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Shireen Dickson, Nadine George-Graves, Jasmine Johnson, Raquel Monroe, C. Kemel Nance, Carl Paris, John Perpener, Will Rawls, Makeda Thomas, Andrea E. Woods Valdés, Ava LaVonne Vinesett