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AU to host West African troupe’s music and dance residency
10/14/11

The Saakumu Dance Troupe will visit Alfred University for a music and dance residency from Wednesday, Oct. 26 to Friday, Oct. 28, with a public performance on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in the new Miller Theater.

The troupe will share the music and dance of Ghana with students, faculty and the Alfred community during their three-day residency. They will focus on traditional drumming and dance of West Africa with students in Professor Luanne Crosby’s First Year Experience Global Music class as well as in dance classes taught by Professor Chase Angier and Robert Bingham. Crosby is professor of voice and chorus, Angier is associate professor of dance, and Bingham is visiting artist-in-residence for dance.

There will also be an open workshop for the campus and community on Friday, Oct. 28 from 1-2:15 p.m. in room 300 at the Miller Performing Arts Center. Some drums will be available but participants should bring their own instruments if possible.

The residency will culminate in a performance on Oct. 28, which will include a variety of energetic and engaging dances from Ghana performed by the troupe as well as selections from the workshops that will incorporate AU students. Tickets for the performance are $5 for the public, $1 for AU students and $3 for non-AU students and senior citizens and are available by emailing performs@alfred.edu or calling (607) 871-2828.

The Saakumu Dance Troupe is an award-winning traditional and contemporary dance and music group from Ghana, West Africa. Led by master musician Bernard Woma, the company is dedicated to introducing audiences to traditional and contemporary African dance and music. Their repertoire includes a range of spiritual, ceremonial, recreational, and contemporary African dance forms accompanied by traditional instruments such as the African xylophone, calabash water drums, and the praise singing (talking drums) of the Akan and Dagbamba people of Ghana.

This year, the Saakumu Dance Troupe has been designated the official performing group at the National Festival of Art and Culture, the largest cultural festival in Ghana.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the David and Elizabeth Miller and the Marlin and Ginger Miller Funds subsidize this music and dance residency for the Performing Arts, Umoja, and the Student Activities Board.