The Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Dance invite you to the "Afro Diasporic Dances: Latin America and the U.S." workshop series.
As part of the Black History Month events from CLAS, this series aims to celebrate the contributions of Afro-Latin and African-American cultural practices. The workshops will be facilitated by the Department of Dance Faculty members and guest teachers.
The event is open to the public and registration is required.
Please bring comfortable clothes to move in.
The workshops will take place at Studio 250 in Sullivant Hall, and Studio 247 will be available for stretching and warm-up.
Saturday, February 24
10:00 – 10:50 a.m. Afro-Veracruzano Folklórico (Alfonso Cervera)
10:50 – 11:00 Recess
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Tango (Emma Rodseth and Edmond Bardhi)
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch recess
1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. Cumbia (Irvin Gonzalez)
1:50 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Recess
2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. Step/Hip-Hop fusion (Ryan Johnson)
Afro-Veracruzano with Alfonso Cervera
Alfonso Cervera (He/They/Él/Elle) is a current Assistant Professor of Dance at The Ohio State University, where he shares his research interests and movement practices rooted in being a queer first-generation Mexican American. His research and specialization as an artist focuses on the conversation between queerness, Ballet Folklorico, and Afro-LatinX social dances in a contemporary auto-biographical embodied experience that he calls Poc-Chuc. Poc-Chuc, an emerging and inclusive dance technique developed by Cervera, weaves these techniques as a pedagogical tool to adhere to the current times and to create representation for marginalized communities. Cervera is both a founder and collaborator with Primera Generación Dance Collective located in Los Angeles, where they create works that represent Mexican American identities, corporeality, and social justice dances, that utilize a pastiche of hybrid social dances and aesthetics. Among other things, he has been awarded grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, Artist Trust in Seattle, and Department of Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles, and is now one of the four Executive Directors of Show Box L.A.
About the workshop
This class will immerse participants in Folklorico elements, that will embark on a rhythmic journey that engages in movements and aesthetics from the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Using elements of zapateado and afro-centric polyrhythms, this class will ask us as community leaders to conjure joy with one another and to invite our ancestors into the space.
Tango with Emma Rodseth and Edmond Bardhi
Emma began dancing Tango in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2017. With a background in synchronized skating, a certification in hot hatha yoga, and most recently engaging in the martial art of capoeira, movement arts involving connection have always been central passions in her life. Emma enjoys dancing tango socially around the country, continuously being informed in life by the uniquely meditative practice. She has enjoyed organizing tango events and prácticas, teaching beginners, exploring its Golden Age of music, & DJing milongas in the Midwest. Emma is also a creative writer and when not exploring poetry through movement, can be found typing in her favorite coffee shops.
Edmond has been dancing since he was young, starting with Balkan folkloric music. While exploring this connection between rhythm and body movement, he discovered and fell in love with Argentine tango in 2010. Edmond approaches teaching and learning tango in a detail-oriented and pedagogical manner. The main focus is placed on the connection between the two partners, and their connection to the music. Aside from dancing and teaching, Edmond is also an experienced and highly sought-after DJ, frequently receiving invitations both at local milongas and at prestigious festivals and marathons across North America. In addition, Edmond also co-organizes Tango Lab and the Ann Arbor Tango Marathon.
Cumbia with Irvin Gonzalez
Dr. Irvin Manuel Gonzalez (he/él/they/elle) is an artivist, scholar, community organizer, and teacher. He currently works at the Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor in Dance. Gonzalez’s scholarship analyzes how immigrant, queer, and working-class (Afro)Latin American social dancers navigate hegemonic forces through feeling and creativity while situating creative constructions of/for belonging. Gonzalez theorizes the possibility for these maneras de ser (ways of being) to inform new approaches to prison abolition work, migrant activism, and transborder belonging. As an artist, Gonzalez grounds his art approaches, strategies, and constructions in rasquachismo, a low-brow Chicanx sensibility, to generate collaborations and new potentials that upend the intended use-value of materials, connections, and being. He is a founding member of Primera Generación Dance Collective (PGDC) and a board member of Show Box Los Angeles (SBLA).
About the workshop
This dance workshop dives into the Afro-Diasporic roots of cumbia dancing to appreciate, honor, and highlight its Africanist aesthetics, origins, and influences. In doing so, we will learn introductory steps and rhythms from Afro-Colombian communities and consider how the dance form has become transnational through migrations and exchanges. Students will learn individual steps, partnered dancing, and turns that are demonstrative of these origins and transnational migrations.
Step/Hip-Hop fusion with Ryan Johnson
Ryan Johnson (@rkj.dance) is an award-winning artist, scholar, and living archive who translates and synthesizes global rhythms to the human body creating sonic and kinetic immersive performance experiences. In 2015, he created SOLE Defined Percussive Dance company, the Washington Metro area's leading arts organization specializing in percussive dance, in service to BIPOC artists, technicians, and communities across the mid-Atlantic region. Johnson's credits include Gregory Hines, Marvin Hamlisch, Ayodele Casel's Diary of a Tap Dancer, BB&T Zelle Commercial as composer, choreographer, and on-screen talent, Step Afrika!, STOMP, Cirque Du Soleil, Broadway's After Midnight Tour, Rose Rabbit Lie, and The Washington Ballet. Internationally he has premiered works at Tap in Rio Festival, The International Festival de Cajon, The International Body Music Festival, DancEncore, TDC Festival, HIFA, and Festival Gnaoua. In 2021, he curated a series of live conversations discussing the climate of our nation and dance community, featuring panelists representing a wide range of socio-economic demographics covering topics including nonprofit operating procedures, business practices, philanthropy, touring expectations, presenting limitations, and pedagogy.
This event is sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies through NRC, Title VI funds from the Department of Education, and is co-sponsored by the Department of Dance.