Visions & Voices: Conversations of the Talking Drums – An Evening of West African Dance

September 18, 2020
USC Tommys Place

Los Angeles, CA

Join us for an unforgettable West African dance, drumming, and singing performance led by Nani Agbeli, one of the leading Ghanaian artists of his generation. Renowned for the energy and precision of his performances, Agbeli has led award-winning troupes and educated artists in traditional dance forms at the Dagbe Cultural Center in Ghana and the California Institute of the Arts, where he is director of the MFA program in African Music and Dance.

Agbeli will be joined by other dance artists, including graduates of the CalArts African Music and Dance program and Amaria Stern of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. The pieces will showcase handmade traditional West African costumes and explore the philosophical ideas of Sankofa in health, wellness, and community life.

In conjunction, we will present a conversation with Agbeli; C.K. Ladzekpo, another renowned Ghanaian artist who is director and founder of the African Music & Dance Ensemble at UC Berkeley; Tufts University ethnomusicology professor David Locke; Ping Ho, founder and director of UCLArts & Healing; and USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy adjunct professor Bonnie Nakasuji. The conversation explores the embodied intellectual traditions of the Ghanaian people, the talking drums in West African cultural life, and the arts as therapeutic tools for personal and community wellness. 

Organized by the USC Libraries.

In collaboration with:

Office of Religious Life

Keck School of Medicine, Office of Wellness

Office for Health Promotion Strategy, USC Student Health

Related Events:

Alternative Medicine – Drumming and Dancing Wellness Workshops