Penn Museum Presents 'African Dance!'

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Media Contact:Tom Stanley | | (215) 898-4045April 3, 2012

A diverse gathering of local dance performers lights up the stage Wednesday, April 25 at 6:00 pm with African Dance! This evening of African and African-influenced steps and moves features hip-hop dance by Rennie Harris RHAW, tap and percussive dance by Germaine Ingram and Bobby Zankel, West African dance by the Cachet Ivey Performing Arts Collective, and the Umfundalai technique of Kariamu & Company: Traditions. The event is curated by Terri Shockley, Executive Director of the Community Education Center, and is presented in conjunction with the ongoing Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum gallery project. Entry is free with Museum admission donation: $12, adults; $10, seniors (65 and above); $8, children (6-17) and full-time students with ID; free for children under 6.

Germaine Ingram and Bobby Zankel perform a segment from their ongoing project The Spirits Break to Freedom, which reflects on slavery in the President’s House in Philadelphia under George Washington. Two dancers join four live musicians to present this series of pieces, with tap and percussive dance accompanied by original music, and vocals by Germaine Ingram.

The program features the Pan-African techniques of Kariamu & Company: Traditions, a company led by Dr. Kariamu Welsh, a professor of dance at Temple University. This company utilizes Dr. Welsh’s own Umfundalai technique, which draws upon key movement principles, aesthetics, and cultural traditions from the African Diaspora. 

Rennie Harris RHAW, the Next Generation company for Rennie Harris Puremovement, brings a vibrant show to the stage—nine dancers, between 18 and 22 years old, perform two original dance pieces that feature eclectic hip-hop styles. The company demonstrates the dazzling arts of B-boying and B-girling to the tune of classic recordings by Bobby Womack and George Benson.

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