|5:30 pm-6:30 pm||IAS Lecture: NYU Professor C. Daniel Dawson Van Brunt Visitor Center|
A multi-talented artist, Prof. Dawson has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, curator, arts administrator, consultant and scholar. He has served as Curator of Photography, Film and Video at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Curatorial Consultant and Director of Education at the Museum for African Art (NYC). As a scholar, he has lectured worldwide, and taught seminars at Columbia, New York, and Yale Universities. He is a currently a curatorial consultant for La Casita, a division of Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors specializing in presenting international oral traditions, and an exhibition curatorial consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Some of the most important treasures hidden in the cultural cargo of Africans shipped to the Americas were their ideas concerning music and dance. This is especially true for the people of Central Africa, in particular the Bakongo from the old Kingdom of the Kongo. The Bakongo, and those in their sphere of influence, made up the largest percentage of enslaved Africans coming to the Americas. They in turn had a powerful influence on the musical culture of the Americas. This is clearly illustrated by the fact that numerous musical terms used in the Americas, such as tango, samba, rumba, bomba, and cumbia, are all from Kikongo, a language of Central Africa. Many of the musics of the Americas are characterized by an African based percussive dominance as well as a keenly focused social commentary, in the words of poet Sekou Sundiata they represent "rhythm and news." In addition, we are greatly influence by African ideas about music, such as using food metaphors in reference to music, e.g., salsa, meringue, cooking, sweet, etc.
Using slides, videos and recordings, this presentation will celebrate one of the greatest cultural exchanges experienced by humankind, that is the sharing of African based musics and dances with the planet. This, often unacknowledged cultural treasure from Africa, continues to bring pleasure, beauty and social consciousness into our daily lives.
This lecture is part of the Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium (IAS) Season III, which explores Immigration, Migration, and Transplantation, looking at the theme of transforming, transferring, or hybridizing cultural identity, and its expression in drama, music, and dance. We will look particularly at how immigrants to the United States use performance to tell their stories. For more information about IAS Season III events, please visit www.unl.edu/ias.
The interdisciplinary Arts Symposium is sponsored by the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, presented, in part, by the Lied Center for Performing Arts, and funded, in part, by the Hixson-Lied Endowment. The 11-12 season is supported by the Cooper Foundation