Dance festival to celebrate African and Caribbean traditions

June 24, 2014 8:45 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

The Newcomb Dance Program at Tulane University will host its annual New Orleans Dance Festival from June 26–July 5 on the uptown campus.

Dancer Kehinde-Ishangi

Kehinde Ishangi is one of more than a dozen guest artists and percussionists participating in the 2014 New Orleans Dance Festival. (Photo from Kehinde Ishangi)

The 2014 theme is “African and Caribbean Dance and Drumming in New Orleans —The Caribbean Getaway to the Americas.”

Guest artists of the New Orleans Dance Festival share and celebrate the traditions of Africa and the Caribbean,” says festival director Beverly Trask, an associate professor in the Tulane Department of Theatre and Dance. “Participants will learn the significance of rituals, the symbolism of the dance and the message of the songs.”

This year’s guest artists include Richard Gonzalez, Peniel Guerrier, Nadia Dieudonne, Ausettua Amor Amenkum, Kehinde Ishangi and Esailama Diouf-Henry.

Percussionists are Damas Louis, Da’vid Braswell, Emery Damon, Nicky Laboy, Tyrone Henry, Judah Mason and Solomon Mason.

A closing concert featuring festival participants will be held Friday, July 4, in room 300 of McWilliams Hall.

On July 5, the final day of the festival, participants attend a MAAFA ceremony, which remembers captured Africans who perished on the journey across the Middle Passage. The ceremony takes place at Congo Square in Armstrong Park at 7 a.m.

Enrollment in the festival's dance classes are open to the public at a cost of $10 per class. Dancers of all skill levels and ages are welcome.

For more information about the festival visit the website or contact Beverly Trask at 504-812-4553 or by email.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000