Today we had the opportunity to start the day collaborating with another dance company. Although there was a language barrier, the language of the body allowed me to have a better understanding.
A few of the dancers in the company danced a dance of the Orishas. Though we did not all know the story behind the dance, we were still able to feel and experience the dance through their expression and presentation. The dancers athleticism, expression, and story telling along with the drumming and singing created an experience and feeling that is too profound to describe. It created so many emotions which are difficult to describe considering I, among others as well, didn’t have the context, history, and knowledge to the movement. But, I look forward to all our discussions about what we witnessed and will continue to witness during our stay here.
Today confirmed how powerful dance can be. Not only does dance diminish communication barriers, but it also creates stories and messages that can impact peoples’ lives.
It’s like a language itself.
— Camille Beck, IU Senior majoring in Sociology and African American and African Diaspora Studies
In the afternoon, AADC attended a workshop in Yoruba dance. In the workshop we learned dances that are specific to Orishas, including Elegua and Yemaya.
With each dance we used skirts and we had to learn how to move the skirt with each respective movement. I was happy to see familiar dances and also learn more about the Orishas. I found that the footwork of the “Chicken” to be the most difficult sequence to learn and perfect.
The second half of the workshop was a demonstration of the different drums and songs associated with each rhythm. I was able to finally understand the communication between each drummer, while also learning some of the songs.
— Alexis Beverly, IU Junior majoring in Neuroscience