The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented Africana Dance Dramaturgies: How Do We Represent? livestreamed on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Monday 18 November 2019 at 6:30 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 3:30 p.m. PST (Los Angeles, UTC -8) / 23:30 GMT (London, UTC +0)
Since the early 2000’s contemporary Africana choreographers and companies have been transforming and up-ending expectations of audiences and critics. They challenge categorizations and explode assumptions about the modern, the contemporary, and the traditional. Offering reimaginations of conventional approaches to Africana performance practices.
Join us for an artist-talk with choreographer Olivier Tarpaga of the Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project, followed by a roundtable discussion with artists and scholars, including André M. Zachery, Rosamond S. King, Ph. D., Charmian Wells, and others. Curated, moderated, and hosted by Margit Edwards, Ph.D. Candidate in Theatre and Performance & the 2018/19 Senior Assistant Director of Programs at the Segal Center.
Olivier Tarpaga is an award-winning musician, dancer and choreographer, Olivier Tarpaga is the artistic director of Nomad Express International MultiArts Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Tarpaga is the founder and artistic director of the internationally-acclaimed Dafra Drum and Dafra Kura Band and co-founder of Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. He danced with David Rousseve/Reality from 2006 – 2009. In 2008, Tarpaga was commissioned by Zig Zag Ballet to choreograph Visage at the Rich Forum Stanford Center for the Arts in Connecticut. He is a recipient of numerous grants including the National Dance Project touring support, Suitcase Fund of New York Live Arts, Chime Mentorship Fellowship with David Rousseve as his mentor, the Durfee Foundation ARC, the Ohio Arts Council and the Flourish Foundation. He is currently a senior lecturer at the Department of Dance of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and a lecturer at the Department of Dance of Princeton University. Tarpaga has performed and taught dance in more than 50 countries throughout Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.
André M. Zachery is a Chicago bred and now Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, scholar and technologist with a BFA from Ailey/Fordham University and MFA in Performance & Interactive Media Arts from CUNY/Brooklyn College. As the artistic director of Renegade Performance Group his practice, research and community engagement artistically focuses on merging of choreography, technology and Black cultural practices through multimedia work. André is a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Gregory Millard Fellow in Choreography and 2019 Jerome Hill Foundation Fellow in Choreography.
Rosamond S. King is a critical and creative writer whose scholarly work focuses on sexuality, performance, and literature in the Caribbean and Africa. Her book Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination received the Caribbean Studies Association best book award, and her research has been supported by the Fulbright and Ford, Mellon, and Woodrow Wilson Foundations. Her poetry includes the Lambda Award-winning Rock|Salt|Stone, and she has performed around the world. King is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York. She is also Co-Chair of the Caribbean International Resource Network, President of the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Creative Editor of sx salon.
Charmian Wells received her PhD in dance studies from Temple University (2018), as a Presidential Fellow and a recipient of the Dissertation Completion Grant and the Edrie Ferdun Scholarly Achievement Award. Her work examines articulations of queerness and diaspora in Black Arts Movement concert dance in New York City (1965-1975). This research stems from her performance career as dancer with Forces of Nature Dance Theatre since 2006. She is on faculty at Sarah Lawrence and Lehman Colleges. Her writing has been published in Critical Correspondence and The Brooklyn Rail. She holds a BFA in Dance and MA in Performance Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Abdel R. Salaam is a choreographer, director, producer, mentor, and educator. He has been active in the arts since 1955. In 1981 Abdel Salaam, Olabamidele Husbands, and principle dancer, Dyane Harvey founded Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company, a New York City based Dance Company. It is a fusion of traditional African dance, ritual dance using ballet, modern dance and hip-hop. He is also the artistic director of DanceAfrica. DanceAfrica, founded by Baba Chuck Davis in 1977, has become one of the largest African American dance, music, and art festival in the United States of America. Mr. Salaam has a vast resume from the 1980’s to today. He has been a force in African diaspora dance nationally and internationally, with residencies and fellowships throughout the US and on the continent of Africa. He has numerous dance film projects with WNET, in addition to many other projects related to African dance in and of the diaspora. He also helped establish another New York City tradition with his work with the Paul Winter Consort Winter Solstice Celebrations at St. John the Divine.
Produced by Margit Edwards in collaboration with the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.
Additional support provided by Martin Ruck, Interim Director, and Zee Dempster, Assistant Director for the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC).