During this performance, students will learn about traditional dance and music of African and African American cultures. Performers will demonstrate and share history of dances and movements, as well as context about certain instruments and how they were made before modern technology. Students also will learn about Africa and the African Diaspora, including geography of the African continent and its countries, and the influence of Africa’s many different cultures on our society today. Teaching through the Arts provides an opportunity to break free of unhealthy life paths. Together dancers and the audience work together to overcome problems. Perhaps struggle caused by COVID-19 or dealing with the acceptance of cultural bounds. Using dance as a way to engineer a strategic path to education and an understanding of turning weaknesses to strengths.
“Peace, Love, Respect for Everybody,” is more than a catchy way to end a concert and the African American Dance Ensemble is more than just another dance troupe. The Ensemble is an agency of positive social change and reinforcement of the best of human values. A concert by the African American Dance Ensemble is at once entertaining, enlightening and emboldening. Dramatic staging, exciting rhythms, masterful choreography and colorful costumes combine with consistently enthusiastic audiences to create an artistic experience difficult to forget. But that is only the beginning. Nobody sits through a performance by the Ensemble without learning from the artists. Aspects of African culture are explained and audience participation in ritual is encouraged. The chants and rituals are all placed in their proper historical contexts and everyone learns. Learning takes place at another level and enlightenment is not too strong a word to describe what actually takes place. The dance itself becomes the means by which one comes to see something of the human condition. Imprisonment, famine, poverty, drug dependency, slavery and war can by juxtaposed with celebration of liberation, bountiful harvests, marriage and birth in an artistic blend that demands attention to the realities it represents.