Dance concerts highlight culture, community

The cast of Under the Bao Bao Tree dance concerts
(David Bernadin)

Brenau University hosted two community dance concerts in May thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts.

The Vibrant Communities grant supported costuming, production needs, rehearsals and guest artist fees to make Under the Bao Bao Tree: A Celebration of Dance Culture a reality. The two-day concerts on May 11-12 promoted different cultures to Gainesville and Hall County’s diverse community.

“We were elated to present a concert dedicated to showcasing dances from around the world in our great diverse city of Gainesville,” Brenau Dance Department Chair Madia Cooper-Ashirifi said. “The concert featured cultural dance groups, community members and members of the Brenau community performing dances and drumming from countries such as Ghana, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.”

The program also included bi-monthly workshops and activities for participants to learn different dances and songs, 12 drumming sessions and lessons with master Ghanaian drummer, Kofi Mawuko, two community-based demonstrations, and two facilitated lecture-demonstrations and conversations with the community.

The two-day concert featured Brenau dance students, faculty, staff, members of the Boys & Girls’ Club of Lanier, students from various schools, and community members.

All photos courtesy of David Bernadin.