All events are free and take place at UMMA unless otherwise noted.

Mar 10

West African Dance and Drum: Community, Identity, Storytelling  

Where does a dance come from? Who makes a dance? One person? Many? These may seem like simple questions, but they’re portals to bigger conversations in the world of West African dance and drumming, where questions of politics, ownership, innovation, tradition, and identity intersect. 

Join Daring Dances artist-in-residence, T. Ayo Alston–founder and director of Chicago-based Ayodele Drum and Dance–with guest speakers from the Detroit West African community (Ajara Alghali and Crettia Hunter), as well as University of Pennsylvania dance scholar Dr. Jasmine Johnson, as the group discusses what it means to make dance from a West African perspective while also centering the voices and experiences of women.

This event is part of the Daring Dances program, and precedes a live performance by Ayodele Drum and Dance on Saturday, March 12, at the Keene Theatre in East Quad at 7 pm. More details on that event here. (Please note the Keene Theatre requires proof of vaccination for all.)

This event is free and open to the public. No reservations required. For more details on safety protocols, directions, and parking, visit

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