CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The complex commingling of musical forms among the cultures of Africa and the Americas will be explored during a symposium and workshop April 16-17 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In addition to the presentation of academic papers, "Circuits of Style: Musical Interchange Between and Among Africa and the Americas," will feature a music-and-dance performance, two music-and-dance workshops and an Afro-Latin social dance party. Most activities will take place at the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.
The symposium is aimed, in part, toward K-12 educators, but is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the UI's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, in cooperation with several other campus units.
"Calypso, jazz, son, hip-hop and rumba are among the many complex musical forms resulting from centuries of ongoing transatlantic exchange, back and forth, between and among Africa and the Americas," said Nan Volinsky, the center's academic programs and outreach coordinator. "This symposium and its workshop connect comparative cases of musical practice in Africa and the Americas to define diasporas as multidirectional circuits of style."
The program opens at 7 p.m. on April 16 at Levis Center with a keynote address by Pomona College music professor Katherine Hagedorn. Her topic will be "Sonic Portraits of Afro-Cuba Orichas: Towards a Theology of Sound."
Hagedorn's presentation will be followed, at 8:30 p.m., by a music-and-dance performance, "Spanish Stew for the Soul: Capturing the African Diaspora Through Music, Dance and Song." The performance will be presented by the Indianapolis-based Sancocho Music and Dance Collage. Anthony Artis is the music director of the group.
Paper panels will be held the following day, beginning at 9 a.m. At 4:15 p.m., two music and dance performance workshops will be offered: "Step Into the Roda: Introduction to Capoeira," with the UI's "Cordão de Ouro" Capoeira Club; and "A Bailar Chancletas: Experience the Rhythms of Oriente," with Sancocho Afro-Cuban Music and Dance Collage.
Capping off the activities for symosium and workshop participants will be an Afro-Latin social dance from 8-11 p.m., with Fotamana and disc jockey Craig Koslofsky at the Lake House, Crystal Lake Park, Urbana. A voluntary contribution of $5 will be collected at the door.
More information, including a detailed schedule of activities and registration form, is available on the Web.