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A Congolese Dance Workshop Week in New York City

by Misengabo E. Kapuadi
April 11, 2009
Roy Arias Studios & Theaters
300 West 43rd. St.
(bet. 8th & 9th Ave)


New York, NY 10036
212-957-8358
www.mekapuadi.com
It all started in the heart of Africa: the Congo.

Now, sadly, Congo is mostly in the news for reasons having to do with war and suffering at its eastern edge. But this was not always the case. Decades ago, Congolese choreographer, dancer, and storyteller Chrysogone Diangouaya committed his life to share his love for both his native Congo Brazzaville and neighboring Congo Kinshasa, then known as Zaire (and now called the Democratic Republic of Congo). He wanted to enrich the world by sharing these countries' complex and beautiful cultures through dance and music.

Diangouaya has a formidable list of credits to his name. In 1995 the Congolese artist won the prize Creation of Science, and then the Contemporary dance award two years later. He also choreographed for the national ballet of the Congo, and had toured extensively with Le Coq Est Mort.

Diangouaya currently collaborates with percussionists Kiazi Malonga and Teber Milongu. Together they are contributing to Congolese dance and drums workshops all over Europe, Africa and the USA. However, until this Saturday, April 11th 2009, Diangouaya had never performed in the Big Apple.

But now, in the Times Square Roy Arias Studios and Theater's room 301 a small group of professional dancers and dance lovers of all ages and diverse ethnic background are attending what Diangouaya calls "a spiritual exchange and communion of individuals."

At the beginning of the workshop, Diangouaya addressed his class in a melodic voice, saying, "What is Congolese dance? Congolese dance is the origin of all dances. It connects us with our innermost 'roots' in our bodies. Congolese dance is not just only dancing but it is a journey teaching you how to learn, feel and love your body. And today we are going to go through Congolese dances such as Zebola, Izokota, Nzumbi and Mutuashi."

Room 301 shook for 2 hours with the transcendent healing vibrations of pelvic rotations, high-energy movements, and live drumming and singing. All together, the sound and dance pulsated like a heartbeat.

Diangouaya came to conquer New York City. The Congolese dance workshop will take place in various locations until Sunday April 19th and it is safe to predict that it will be a mission accomplished.

Congolese Dance Workshops listing:

Wednesday, April 15th 2009
From 5pm to 7pm
Angola Capoeira Center
104 West 14 St between 6th & 7th Avenue.

Thursday April 16, 2009
From 6pm to 7.30pm
Black River Dance Studio
345 Lenox Avenue bet 127 & 128 St.

Friday April 17:
From 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Pearl Studios
500 8th Ave. bet 35th and 36th St. (studio 410)

Saturday April 18:
From 5pm to 7pm
Pearl Studios
500 8th Ave. bet 35th and 36th St. (studio 410)

Sunday April 19, 2009
From 1pm to 3pm
Roy Arias Studios & Theaters
300 West 43rd. St. bet. 8th & 9th Ave (suite 301)

Single class $20.00, 8 class dance sign up $145.00, children over 10 yrs $10.00, Current College students $16.00 with ID, observation fee $5.00 ea class

10% will be donated to V-Day for the victims of sexual violence in the Congo. For more information contact: Coreen Eto'o (mrider25@netscape.net)
A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi


A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi


A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi


A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi


A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi


A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi


A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi


A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi


A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi


A Congolese Dance Workshop

A Congolese Dance Workshop

Photo © & courtesy of Misengabo E. Kapuadi

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