Updated October 16, 2023
Kariamu & Company: Traditions
A LEGACY CONCERT
On Tuesday, October 12, 2022, Dr. Kariamu Welsh transitioned to the ancestral realm. Among the important parts of the legacy that she left behind as a gift to African American people and the larger dance community is the Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique. For years in an intimate dance performance space in North Philadelphia at Temple University, Dr. Welsh would showcase her choreographic work, commenting on the world around her and animating ideas about Africa and African American folk. Among those works is the classic, “Raaahmonaaah!” a creative retelling of the Osage Avenue fire tragedy in Philadelphia that took the lives of eleven MOVE members except for two, Ramona Africa and Birdie Africa. The retelling is done through the imagined lens of the tragic heroine, Ramona Africa. In 2014 when Welsh
disbanded her company, her important work lived on in other ways outside of Philadelphia, mostly where her Master Teachers ventured to. Dr. C. Kemal Nance, Senior Dance Master in the Umfundalai dance tradition, and whom she entrusted to lead the Umfundalai legacy, will re-imagine “Raaahmonaaah!” and other Umfundalai work in a special performance of Kariamu & Company: Traditions – A Legacy Concert. We will round out the concert with stellar guest choreographers.
Who should apply to have their work in the concert?
Artists who have choreographed and presented successful Africanist dance work (African/African Diasporic, Contemporary African, Umfundalai, African Future) in the past two years (2022-present) to a local/regional or national/international public audience in a professional performance venue, and who have been responsible to set the staging, lighting, sound, and/or other associated production items.
Artist who have danced in Kariamu & Company: Traditions for a minimum of two years and/or who have current Professional Umfundalai Teacher or Master Teacher Certofications.
If your work is selected for participation in the performance, it will be exposed to an urban, artistic, and critically discerning audience of scholars, professional artists, critics, and dance culture enthusiasts. Audiences of the late Dr, Kariamu Welsh were a robust mix of community and highly discerning art goers from local, national and international locales. If selected your work will be in great artistic company with choreographers and artistic work that has garnered top national and international recognition, funding, and choreographic and scholastic awards.