Africa

The History and Mystery of Belly Dance
This general style of female solo interpretive dance is known and appreciated all over the Arab world including Northern Africa. There is no formal choreography but instead a variety of characteristic movements with which to interpret the music and show mastery of the rhythm. In the villages of northern Africa, most women dance as a social activity, at weddings for example, in all-female groups. The character of this sensual dance style is different in the big cities; particularly in Egypt where the dance has reached its most highly developed form. Top dancers achieve the status of movie stars because of the prominence of the entertainment industry. Through discussion, slides and demonstration, Ms. Siegel, as "Habiba" will trace the long history of this dance. Attend this fascinating lecture and find out for yourself the skills needed for authentic belly dance. Ms. Barbara Siegel

“Bigger than Barbie-History of an African Idol”The Akuaba (meaning “girl child born Wednesday”) is an abstract wooden female figure still carved by Asante craftsmen in Ghana, Africa with the specific purpose of helping a woman conceive and bear a beautiful healthy child. Why has the use of this particular African motif become so widespread and popular in many forms and distortions from earings to advertisements? Examining the form and purpose of this appealing sculpture can tell us much about the qualities and characteristics of African Art.  Connie Kirker

Tunisia: Crossroads of Culture
Tunisia has a richly mixed cultural heritage that includes Phoenician, Berber, Roman, Early Christian and Islamic elements. Today it is an extremely modern and moderate Islamic state, which is host to the Arab League. Women's suffrage came immediately after independence and education is a high priority for both girls and boys. At the same time, Tunisians also have a high regard for their traditions and complex history. Join Ms. Siegel for this wonderful tour and slide show about Tunisia. Ms. Barbara Siegel

Ancient Nubia: Egypt's Rival in Africa
Explore the fascinating history of the Ancient Nubians through this illustrated lecture. This lecture provides an introduction to 3,000 years of Nubian cultural developments and shows how archaeologists have used artifacts found in ancient cemeteries and villages to reconstruct Nubian ways of life. Slides for this lecture will focus on objects included in the museum's traveling exhibit, Ancient Nubia: Egypt's Rival in Africa, to illustrate the art and lifestyle of the Nubians who inhabited the Nile Valley to the south of Egypt. Although parts of Nubia were, at times, dominated by Egypt politically, Nubians developed imposing kingdoms of their own. Through the use of artifacts ranging in date from 3,000 B.C. to A.D. 600, this lecture will allow the listener to witness the ebb and flow of indigenous cultural developments, including the establishment of a Nubian monarchy that ruled Egypt as the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. Dr. Stacie Olson

Moving Perspectives on Dance
From ceremonial to street dance, enjoy a celebration of the strength and diversity of African and African-American dance styles! Using examples from parts of east and west Africa, this lecture will trace the African elements of established dances in the U.S., ranging from traditional African-American dances such as gospel, jazz and blues to more recent techniques such as breakdance and hip-hop. Special attention will be paid to understanding the meaning of dance movements, the links between dance and music, and the role of dance as an integral part of the community's social fabric. Dr. Patricia Reid-Merrit

To Visit the African Continent
Attention all would-be explorers, tourists, and researchers! Before packing your bags for Africa, come to this presentation about the experiences of first time travelers to the modern African continent. Drawing on examples from Egypt, the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Senegal, and Togo, some highlights of this lecture will include the major conceptions and misconceptions about Africa today, cultural variations, the problem of cultural shock, "searching for roots", and how to avoid the ugly American syndrome. Dr. Patricia Reid-Merrit


 


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