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Alfred University to host residency of Saakumu Dance Troupe

Alfred University | 3/07/19

Alfred University will host a four-day residency of the Saakumu Dance Troupe.
Alfred University will host a four-day residency of the Saakumu Dance Troupe.

The Alfred University Dance and Music departments in the Division of Performing Arts will co-host the Saakumu Dance Troupe for a four-day residency March 18-22.


ALFRED, NY -- The Alfred University Dance and Music departments in the Division of Performing Arts will co-host the Saakumu Dance Troupe for a four-day residency March 18-22.

The award-winning Saakumu Dance Troupe is one of the leading traditional/contemporary dance and music groups in Ghana, West Africa. Formerly led by master musician Bernard Woma, who passed away last April, the company continues to honor his legacy with their commitment to introducing audiences to traditional and contemporary African dance and music.

Their repertoire features a wide range of West African dance from spiritual, ceremonial, and recreational genres to contemporary African dance forms. As the Director of Saakumu, Woma shared the performance stage with renowned artists such as Maya Angelou, Yo Yo Ma, and Glen Velez. Saakumu, in partnership with Slyboots Music, Art, and Dance School located in Buffalo, brings traditional and contemporary African dance and music to the communities in western and central New York.  

This residency will include drumming, dance, and song workshops, as well as a full performance in the Miller Performing Arts Center at Alfred University on Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m.  Admission is free. 

The artists will conduct a lecture demonstration for middle school students at Alfred-Almond Central School. There are master dance classes that are open to the community on Tuesday, March 19, 1-2:15 p.m., and Thursday, March 21, 11:20 a.m.-12:35 p.m., in Miller Performing Arts Center Studio 300; and an open drumming class Wednesday, March 20, from 4-5 p.m. in Miller Performing Arts Center Studio 302.

The final performance on Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Miller Performing Arts Center will include dance and music performed by the company. In addition, participants in Saakumu workshops will be invited to join the 3-5 p.m. rehearsal on Friday and then perform alongside the Saakumu Dance Troupe at the Friday night performance. 

This project is made possible with funds from the NYS DanceForce, a partnership program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by The Marlin Miller Dance Residency Program, and The Herrick Gallman Fund at Alfred University.