For three weeks, students of Living Arts' Youth Dance Ensemble studied under visionary master teachers Madame Penny Godboldo, Chi Amen Ra and Ozzie Rivera to understand the cultural connection between Black American and Afro Latinx communities (The African Diaspora). As the Living Arts Teaching Artist brought in on this project, I was honored to even be in the room with these incredibly decorated artists that I'd heard about for years. The importance of using dance as the catalyst to discuss these connections is a conversation I've had many times with various students, parents and fellow teachers. In Afrocentric and Indigenous culture dance is often used as an archive.
Living Arts’ Youth Dance Ensemble, under the direction of Master Teacher and Dance Artist Penny Godboldo and Living Arts’ Teaching Artist Miryam Johnson, with musical accompaniment by Chinelo "Chi" Amen-Ra and Ozvaldo "Ozzie" Rivera, will present a free community performance graciously hosted by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on August 8, 2019 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm.
On Saturday, February 2nd, the Living Arts Youth Dance Ensemble was invited to participate as honored guests at the Detroit Dhamaal 2019 Bollywood Fusion Competition.
Held at the historic Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Detroit, the competition featured Bollywood dance troupes from colleges across the nation. Board member Matthew Nahan spoke about the Living Arts programs and the value of teaching artists in the community. Nahan also introduced the Youth Dance Ensemble performance.