Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mama Yeye to present African dance, storytelling, drumming at MTU

Mama Yeye has arrived at Michigan Tech! Click on photo for larger version. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University.)

HOUGHTON -- Mama Yeye -- a dancer, choreographer, playwright and teacher -- is now visiting Michigan Tech to present free hands-on workshops on African dance, Yoruba storytelling and Sekere drumming. All events are open to the public and free of charge. Unless otherwise indicated, her presentations are in the McArdle Theatre, second floor of MTU's Walker Center for Arts and Humanities.

Since Mama Yeye's visit was delayed by a storm in Atlanta, GA, the schedule has been changed somewhat. Here are her remaining presentations for today, Tuesday, Mar. 3, and tomorrow, Wednesday, Mar. 4:

Tuesday, Mar. 3:
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. -- New Afro-Caribbean Dances. Allow your mind and body to travel across the oceans through dance to places like Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and Trinidad. Don't miss it!

7:30 p.m. -- Mama attends the African Children's Choir performance*

Wednesday, Mar. 4:

10 a.m. - 11 a.m. -- Yoruba Storytelling (Rozsa 120, Choir Room). Join the Modern Theatre History class (FA 3821) session, open to all.

12 Noon - 2 p.m. -- African Dance for Everyone
7 p.m. - 10 p.m. -- African Dance and Sekere Drumming

"Everyone loves the drums," Mama Yeye says. "Now learn how to move to the rhythm. Mama Yeye gives you the basics so you can move, dance, sing and enjoy yourself."

Raised in a Yoruba family in Philadelphia, Apetebii Yeye Olori Oriyomi -- "Mama Yeye"-- takes her artistic inspiration from the variety of ethnic rhythms, tastes, sounds and voices of the African diaspora that have been part of her life, ranging from West Philly to Nigeria, New Orleans, New York City, Jamaica and Atlanta, her new home base. She delights in teaching the arts of Africa because it is an opportunity to create positive change. She uplifts the Yoruba code of "Iwapele," which means good character, and has presented workshops for many colleges, universities and theater conferences throughout the country.

The events are sponsored by the Visiting Women and Minority Scholar Series, Institutional Diversity and Visual and Performing Arts. More information is available from Patricia Helsel in Visual and Performing Arts, helsel@mtu.edu.

* The African Children's Choir will perform at the Rozsa Center again tonight, Tuesday, Mar. 3. See article.

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