N’tifafa Akoko Tete-Rosenthal MFA '20

/əmˈbädē/ied Transmission

Choreography by N’tifafa Akoko Tete-Rosenthal
Performed by N’tifafa Akoko Tete-Rosenthal, Julie Mondrick, Kenia Rosette, Gwen Appenfeller, Justine Fisset
Music sourced from Eric Montgomery (Anthropological field research audio recording)
Music Edited by William Catanzaro
Costumes by Amy Page and performers
Video Assistance by Olana Flynn 

“When it comes to traditional dance, we don’t learn steps and combinations, we learn language” –Akosua Akoto

An inquiry into University curricula in the United States and the technical hierarchies that continue to exist in dance programs. Focusing on ballet, modern dance, and West African dance I draw on theories of Africanist aesthetics in dominant American dance forms, embodied knowledge, and technique as a value-based system. Using these, I highlight the disparities in American dance curricula, the advancements (and shortcomings) while offering interventions found through my embodied practice of all three forms. I offer my lived experiences (learning and teaching) and methods acquired in learning to balance the need to preserve cultural material and codification for transmission. My navigation through the American collegiate system serves to provide methods to create inclusive and representative dance education for all students.

Apké KäKa (thank you very much) to my performers for always being present and committed to this process, even when we are thousands of miles apart.