OU Celebrates International Music, Dance This Week

Updated Wed, Jan 29, 2014 7:19 am
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The fourth annual World Music and Dance Festival is bringing the life and culture of Cuba, Africa, China, Trinidad and other countries to Ohio University.

The festival, taking place today through Feb. 1, gives students and the community an opportunity to experience a variety of cultures first-hand through lectures, workshops and concerts.

"These experiences introduce different ways of conceptualizing the arts and potentially open up new avenues of creativity, expression, and aesthetic appreciation for students," said Director and founder of the Festival Paschal Yao Younge. "As a result, the students appreciate to a great variety artistic expressions from all over the world and thereby expand their artistic knowledge in addition to helping them to understand that many areas of the world have arts as sophisticated as their own."

In addition to drumming, singing, dance, steel drum and marimba workshops, the festival will conclude with the World Music and Dance Concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1 in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

Guests artists for the concert include: Pei-Ching Wu, Ju Percussion, Taiwan; Dr. Ellie Mannette, the "Grandfather of the Steel Pan;" David Hostetler, sculptor; and Patrick Parson, artistic director of Ballet Creole (Canada) and several Ohio University Ensembles.

Associate Professor of Multicultural Music Education Paschal Yao Younge and his wife Zelma Badu-Younge, associate professor in the Division of Dance, are directors and founders of the World Music and Dance Festival at Ohio University. They both saw the need for students to become involved in cultural arts and created the festival to fit those needs.

"Given the increasingly changing demographics of our student body, global arts, such as music and dance, are needed for our students to develop frameworks that support intercultural understanding--that is, developing critical awareness of one’s own cultural influences and exploring this awareness through dialogue and exchange with other cultural influences in an effort to foster tolerance and appreciation," said Yao Younge.

The unique nature of this festival is that, apart from guest artists, all registered OU students (both majors and non-majors in music, dance, theater, and visual arts) will be involved.

 The festival offers several workshops where guest artists will teach their art form while also discussing the history and culture associated with it.

Students who participate in the workshops during the week will also have the opportunity to perform during Saturday's concert.

"It will be a wonderful and rewarding experience for students to be sharing the stage with world renowned artists," said Yao Younge.

The concert and workshops are free for Ohio University students and are open to the public.

 For the full World Music and Dance Festival schedule of workshops and performances, click here to download a PDF schedule.

For more information about this and other College of Fine Arts events, please visit www.ohio.edu/finearts.