UNGANISHA: Explore. Connect. Dance.
UNGANISHA: Explore. Connect. Dance.
Dance Theatre Production Explores African Origin of Popular Dance Genres as part of Black History Month.
January 16, 2023 (Calgary, Canada) – Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc. presents the first in-person showcase of UNGANISHA: Explore. Connect. Dance. on Saturday, February 25 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
This dance theatre production brings together popular dance genres with roots on the diverse continent of Africa. Through movement and storytelling of an all- Calgary team of dancers, actors, and choreographers will journey through Tap and HipHop to celebrate their genesis, their contemporary popularity, and their ability to connect us across cultures and continents.
“UNGANISHA is Swahili for ‘connect,’ and connection is the focus of this unique project,” says Wunmi Idowu, Founder and Director of Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc. “Diversity and inclusion are essential to community building, but that integration is not possible without education. We have created this empowering production to educate audiences on the origins and evolution of the popular dance genres we see today, with the presentation of a story woven together with the lyrical thread of dance.”
16 scriptwriters, actors and dancers who completed the 2021 and 2022 Black Arts Development Program will perform on stage, most of them for the first time. They will be accompanied by narration to build educational context, delving into the cultural and historical underpinnings of each dance form and its ties to African traditions. This showcase will help to increase the visibility of Black dance artists by deepening their understanding of the art form’s movement and music.
Audiences describe our impact as:
“The weaving of the story with the various forms of dance [made] everything alive and meaningful. I was moved to tears multiple times.”
“Mind-opening experience. First time I’ve seen diversity displayed in Calgary compared to other Canadian cities I’ve lived in. Culturally outstanding showcase of art, life experiences, dance, and oppression.”
“The dancers were in the moment, never holding back: their intensity and absolute control was hypnotizing, and they conveyed a profoundly personal sense of ritual in their dancing.”
Tickets are available through Eventbrite
For interviews, photos, and more information, please contact Wunmi Idowu at email@example.com
About Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc.
Founded in 2006, Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc. has served as a platform for African arts and artists in both Edmonton and Calgary. Founded in 2006, Woezo Africa, meaning “welcome to the land of perfection,” highlights the organization’s desire to bring the uniqueness of the African cultures to the public. With a
multidisciplinary approach that blends African music, dance, theatre, and storytelling, Woezo Africa is passionately dedicated to using the transformative power of the arts to empower the communities within Calgary and abroad.
Since it’s conception, Woezo Africa has been passionately dedicated to bringing the history of African culture to the masses through traditional and modern modes of performing arts, including dance, music, theatre, and storytelling. Woezo Africa has encouraged artistic creativity and excellence, increased awareness of and participation in the arts, driven partnerships between arts organizations and other professional sectors, supported innovative cultural activities and provided mentorship opportunities for artists. We intend to have our art serve the community by contributing to cultural development and artist spotlighting while shifting misconceptions regarding diversity to inspire people of all backgrounds to engage as artists and supporters of the arts.