By Jennifer Micale
March 04, 2021
Dance does additional than delight the eye with feats of grace and athleticism. It teaches, transmitting a culture’s values, stories and traditions.
This spring, Traveling to Assistant Professor of Theatre and Africana Reports Samuel Eliakem Kwame Nyamuame will return to his native country of Ghana to research classic festival dances with Sylvanus Kwashie Kuwor, chair of the Office of Dance Experiments at the University of Ghana’s School of Executing Arts in Accra-Legon. Then, the two students will build a new curriculum for the University of Ghana’s graduate method in dance.
The method is produced doable by the prestigious Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Plan for African-born students. Only open to scholars born in Africa, the fellowship aims to forge bonds in between establishments on the continent with counterparts in North The united states.
“The hope is to collaborate and share resources with the host establishment to foster intercultural exchange,” Nyamuame discussed.
That trade will construct on an previously sound foundation of intercontinental cooperation. Kuwor has presented lectures at Binghamton prior to, in 2019 and 2020 respectively, although Nyamuame visits his house nation each year. He also presents workshops at the College of Ghana during his visits, sharing the most current in principle and apply, and participating in collaborative exploration with colleagues there.
The cross-cultural trade may possibly middle on the arts and society, but it goes further than that, much too. Pupils from Binghamton and Ghana also share further perspectives from their international locations about techniques of dwelling, finding out and conducting exploration, he reported.
“We want to continue on so that learners can have a greater being familiar with of diverse cultures and cross-cultural collaboration, and strategies to then share their suggestions,” Nyamuame explained. “Hopefully, they will be equipped to team up and write some papers.”
Songs and dance
As it stands now, the University of Ghana’s dance system is lacking the ethnomusicological component of dance in its curriculum. That’s why Kuwor asked Nyamuame to spouse with him on the project.
“It has to do with the integration of audio and dance, and how they can seize the festivals and cultural parts that happen in Ghanaian societies and African culture,” Nyamuame stated. “It’s a faculty of accomplishing arts, so the various departments underneath the college share these traditions and discover from every other to get a far better being familiar with of the holistic character of African arts.”
The world-wide coronavirus pandemic has delayed the trip rather, but Nyamuame and Kuwor will most likely be out in the field in the later element of the spring semester, the commence of Ghana’s pageant season, which runs till the stop of April.
Ghana has been getting the coronavirus significantly, and was lauded in 2020 for its reaction to the pandemic. Most conditions are concentrated in the greater Accra region, a really urban space very similar in some respects to New York Town, said Nyamuame, who last visited the region in December 2020. On the furthermore aspect, the site the scientists will pay a visit to have claimed no conditions of COVID-19.
With the transition to online learning, Nyamuame will proceed to teach two courses at Binghamton this spring regardless of the exploration excursion. One is an on-line seminar, the other a hybrid dance class that alternates involving online and in particular person to sustain social distancing. With a excellent web connection, Nyamuame is in a position to educate class from any place, as he did in the drop of 2020. His teaching assistants will also support with the in-course sections when he is absent, but he will constantly exhibit up remotely to direct the class, he explained.
Though in Ghana, Nyamuame and Kuwor will investigate the deeper cultural contexts driving classic dances, which are central to Ghanaian festivals.
“What are the factors that need to have to be studied culturally and academically?” Nyamuame questioned. “We will also examine how people values can add to know-how bodies, especially the philosophies embedded in the movement and gestures — the theatrical ingredient.”