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African dance, drum ensemble to perform at OUS

Published 9:54am Thursday, March 7, 2013

Brightly clothed dancers and rhythmic drumming will soon fill the Mains Rotunda of Ohio University Southern, transporting all those within to West Africa.

Azaguno, a multi-ethnic ensemble from Ohio University in Athens, was co-founded by Paschal Yao Younge, professor of multicultural music education and a native of Ghana and Zelma Badu-Younge, professor of African dance and jazz in 2001.

The ensemble’s second trip to Ironton is set for March 14 at 7 p.m.

“Azaguno was invited as a participant in the spring 2013 OUS Diversity Lecture and Performance Series,” Robert Pleasant, director of enrollment and student services, said. “They were so well received last year that the university decided to bring them back. The series is designed to promote an environment of multicultural understanding. It encourages the campus and larger community to participate in thoughtful and inclusive dialogue.”

Pleasant said Azaguno is perfect for the lecture and performance series because they not only perform African dance and drumming, but also educate other to better understand different cultures and traditions.

Azaguno means “a master drummer” to the Ewe people of Ghana. Members of the ensemble have performed with various dance ensembles as well as participated in several national and international festivals and conferences in Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

The ensemble also represented the U.S. at the FIFA World Cup Opening Ceremony and Games in Seoul, South Korea in 2002.

Pleasant said Azaguno presents a high-energy performance that viewers will never forget.

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