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Dance Behind The Screen

Aug 21, 2019

On this episode your co-host Azaria interviews dance teacher, choreographer, ethnographer, and filmmaker with a focus on dances of the African diaspora, Dr. Ojeya Cruz Banks. Her research combining African and Pacific lineages is inspired by her identity as a Pacific Islander (Guåhan/Guam) and African American. In 2012, she was selected for the Professional Choreographer’s Lab at the Jacob’s Pillow School of Dance. Dr Cruz Banks was also the keynote speaker and choreographer for the award-winning 2012 BlakDance festival in Australia. Her short dance film titled Tåno/Land premiered at the 2016 Pacific Arts Festival and her choreographic project called Africa in Aotearoa nominated for best dance performance in the 2017 Dunedin Fringe Festival. Recently, her collaboration with acclaimed movement artist Lela Aisha Jones was featured in the short dance film Original Spaces that was curated at the Gibney center in New York city. In 2019, she joined the faculty of Dance at Denison University as an Associate Professor of Dances of the African diaspora. On this episode, we talk about what Black dance signifies, the importance of cultural context and dance world view, research via social media conversations, and how dance is represented and conceptualized in the media.