ATHENS, Ohio (April 13, 2007) -- The Ohio University African Ensemble, directed by Zelma Badu-Youngeand Paschal Yao Younge, will be presenting the concert "AZA! A Celebration of Traditional and Contemporary Culture Though the Arts" at 8 p.m. Friday, April 20, at Templeton Blackburn Memorial Auditorium.
AZA! offers performances from different countries and cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora. Special guest artists will include Ghanaian drummer, dancer and choreographer, Habib Iddrisu; and Azaguno, a colorful and vibrant multi-ethnic international touring African drumming and dance ensemble based in Athens.
The celebration will include African music performances from the Ohio University Singers and Ohio University Women's Chorale, directed by Peter Jarisan; the Singing Men of Ohio, directed by Stephen Caracciolo; and the Ohio University Symphony Orchestra, directed by Steven Huang.
Travis Gatling (Associate Professor of Dance,) will perform with Zelma Badu-Younge in "Gede Nibo," a traditional Haitian Voodoo chant performed by the Ohio University Singers and Ohio University African Ensemble.
"This celebration of African Dance and Music was inspired by Dr. Steve Howard, Director of African Studies. Four years ago, he expressed to me the desire to share, on campus, some of the positive features of Africa -- its performing and visual arts," Zelma Badu-Younge said.
One of the highlights of the concert will be the World Premier of the work, "Africa Meets Asia." Composer Paschal Yao Younge and Choreographers Zelma Badu-Younge and Yuju Wei (senior-dance major), along with members of Azaguno, will perform an African-Asian fusion piece that combines Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Ghanaian percussion music as well as classical and folk Chinese dance with dances from Ghana and Guinea.
"In Africa, there is no concept of separating performing and visual arts. Music is related to dance, dance is related to theater, theater is related to costume. When you study an art form, you study all art forms. All art operates together," Paschal Yao Younge said.
Tickets are on sale for $12 for general admission and $8 for students.