Duke University to Host African Diaspora Dance Conference
Duke University is celebrating Black History Month with an emphasis on dance. The school, which has a strong African dance curriculum, will host a conference February 7–9 called Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance.
The event was organized by the Duke-based Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, a group of dance students, performers and educators led by Thomas F. DeFrantz, professor of African and African American Studies and Dance at the university. He teaches classes in black dance and black performance theory.
During the three-day conference, more than 75 presenters from across the country will address the African diaspora’s effect on dance around the world, in styles from swing to tap to hip hop. The event will include a world premiere by Urban Bush Women, currently in residence at Duke, as well as a talk by company founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. Additionally, B-girl Ana “Rokafella” Garcia will screen and discuss her film All the Ladies Say, about women in break dancing.
Photo by Les Todd, courtesy of Duke Photography