To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Michelle Kisliuk's time at the University of Virginia, the African Music and Dance Ensemble presents an interactive performance on Thursday, April 6th at 6:00 p.m. beginning on the Lower Lawn and moving into Old Cabell Hall.
Join alumni, current students and the community to celebrate this important milestone for the UVA African Music and Dance Ensemble as they gather on grounds. The theme of the performance is "Adversity...Diversity...University...This is what the multiverse sounds like!"
There are two main aspects of the UVA African Music and Dance Ensemble, drumming/dancing/singing of the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo, for which they have often had guest artists come to teach and perform with the group, and the singing/dancing/drumming of BaAka people of the Central African Republic where Michelle Kisliuk did most of her Africa research. The BaAka music and dance that Michelle teaches is unique in that UVA is the only place, other than its home in the rainforest, where this music is learned and performed (the Ewe music from Ghana has a worldwide network of institutional instruction and performance since at least the mid-1970s). Adapting the BaAka music to the classroom and stage has been a major focus, since this tradition is embedded in community life and addresses many things
foreign to UVA students, including hunting and gathering, and the group finds correlations in their own lives that address the issues that are immediately important to them, including issues or racism and gender oppression, climate emergency (BaAka know how to live with each other on the planet without exploiting or destroying). One of the central aspects of Michelle's research and teaching has been the BaAka women's dance called Elamba, for which students must become inducted in order to be allowed to dance (anyone can sing the songs, though). Highlights include not just their performance with Ewe guest artists but the small gatherings than make for a strong community of performers. The group has potluck dinners every semester during which students introduce themselves and establish in many cases lifelong friendships).
Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA's historic lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda. (map) Parking is available in the central grounds parking garage on Emmet Street, in the C1 parking lot off McCormick Rd, and in the parking lots at the UVA Corner. Handicap parking is available in the small parking lot adjacent to Bryan Hall.
All events are subject to change. For more information call the Music Department at 434.924.3052