Sunday, April 14, 2024
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DanceMotion performs in Addis

DanceMotion USA, an initiative of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), made a visit to Ethiopia earlier this week.  
KEIGWIN+COMPANY was selected to participate in DanceMotion USA and the group recently made a visit to three African countries as part of its mission to facilitate cultural exchanges. With the mission of promoting cultural understanding and engaging with local audiences, it preformed sold-out shows, in both in the capital as well as in Hawassa, Southern Regional State.
It performed for students at Hawassa University and the evening also included dances by seven local dance companies based in Hawassa.  Over 1,000 students and community members attended the sold out performance.
At the Ethiopian National Theater in Addis Ababa, the dance group performed to popular hit songs by Michael Jackson, Anne Lennox and James Brown, as well as classical music.  Ten local dance groups also joined the stage, showcasing hip hop, break dancing, traditional Ethiopian dance, and contemporary dance.  The finale of the evening was a specially choreographed piece that brought KEIGWIN+COMPANY and the 52 local dancers together, weaving together different dance styles into a cultural mosaic of Ethiopia’s diversity.
En route to Tunisia, Larry Keigwin, the Artistic Director of KEIGWIN + COMPANY, told The Reporter, how much the effort is in tune with “bridging differences together and finding a common purpose”. Andrea Lodico Welshons, the Executive Director, said that this was exactly the intention. “This visit to Ethiopia is a mutual cultural sharing opportunity for both”, she told The Reporter. “We wanted the ideals of harmony, healing and joy to be reflected through the art”.
While visiting each of the three African countries, the KEIGWIN+COMPNAY conducted dance workshops, hosted round-table discussions and collaborated with local acts in order to bring a coordinated effort to the stage. While in Ethiopia, the American dancers visited institutions that serve people with disabilities and offered trainings to local dancers. Through these interactions, KEIGWIN+COMPANY learned about Ethiopian dance style and techniques, providing inspiration for future dance collaboration.

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