For Immediate Release
April 7, 2014
For more information, contact
Brockport, NY — The Sankofa African Dance and Drum Ensemble will present its annual series of concerts under the auspices of the Department of Dance at The College at Brockport on Thursday – Saturday, May 1 – 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm. There will also be two family-friendly matinees on Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4, at 2 pm. All performances, under the artistic direction of Clyde Alafiju Morgan and the musical direction of Khalid Abdul N’Faly Saleem, take place in Hartwell Dance Theater, Kenyon Street, Brockport. Tickets are $16/General, $11/Seniors, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and $8.50/Students. They are available online at fineartstix.brockport.edu, by phone at (585) 395-2787, or at the Tower Fine Arts Center Box Office, 180 Holley Street, Brockport. The Sankofa concerts typically have an air of Carnavale about them, as the rhythms of Afro/Caribbean/Latin cultures pervade the movement and instruments. This year’s production will welcome the Rochester Oratorio Society, conducted by artistic director Eric Townell, performing the Missa Luba, a Congolese setting of the Latin Mass. Originally arranged for a male choir from the town of Kamina in what was then known as Belgian Congo, the piece premiered in 1958. Initially, the music was not notated or copied down, and when other choirs requested the score, it had to be transcribed from a recording made in 1964.
As with traditional masses, there are several movements that comprise the Missa Luba. “What drew me to this piece, in my conversations with Eric, was that I thought it would be cool to have a cross-section of our students choreograph each of the movements,” says Morgan. The live drumming gives an authentic flair and immediacy to this global favorite.
In addition to the Rochester Oratorio Society, the Sankofa shows will also feature a second guest artist, Fana Bangoura. Bangoura, a dancer/choreographer, is also a master drummer who is on the faculty of the University of Rochester in both the music and dance departments. Bangoura is setting a work on students from the Department of Dance, and utilizing the Sankofa troupe’s numerous drummers, as well.
Augmenting the work of the guest artists will be choreography by Oluyinka Akinjiola, who will be presenting her MFA thesis, “Oshún, Xica and the Sambista,” which was developed over a semester-long exchange spent in Brazil, where she was fortunate enough to collaborate with local dancers. Marcia Vanderlee ’13 is returning to campus to collaborate with Department of Dance faculty member Edward Murphy, who is also the artistic director of the Drumcliffe Irish Arts Center, on “A Search for Unification,” which juxtaposes traditional African dance and drumming with Irish dance and rhythms. Any available tickets will also be available at the Box Office in Hartwell Hall one hour prior to each performance.
Photos: 1: Fana Bangoura 2: The Sankofa African Dance and Drum Ensemble
Caption: The Sankofa African Dance and Drum Ensemble will perform May 1 – 3, 2014, at 7:30 pm and May 3 and 4 at 2 pm, in the Hartwell Dance Theater in Hartwell Hall, Kenyon Street, Brockport. Visit fineartstix.brockport.edu for tickets.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu