Music and dance movement from around the world

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 22, 2022

ATHENS — The second Ohio University Global Arts Festival and 10th World Music and Dance Concert will be held in March 2022, celebrating diversity in the Ohio University community through events featuring guests from around the world.

The festival was founded in 2019 by College of Fine Arts Music professor Paschal Yao Younge and Dance professor Zelma Badu-Younge.

The 2022 festival will include a symposium, workshops, lectures, exhibitions and afternoon concerts.

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Younge said the Festival’s goal is to present music and dance movements from around the world. He said the increasing diversity in the demographics of Ohio students provides potential for more intercultural understanding, and appreciation of performing and visual arts. A full schedule is available on the Global Arts Festival website and is being updated regularly as details come together.

“We want to help our students discover many different but equally valid ways of constructing music, dance, film, and visual arts,” Younge said.

Younge and Badu-Younge first started the Global Arts Festival in 2019 to expand the World Music and Dance Concerts the College of Fine Arts organized from 2011 to 2018. Younge said they keep receiving good reviews from students, staff, faculty, parents and community members.

Some of the special guests for the Global Arts Festival and World Music and Dance Concert include the National Dance Company of Ghana, Azaguno, Messiah University Symphony Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble. OHIO students from various departments will also be participating and performing in many of these events.

The National Dance Company of Ghana was started in 1962 by the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana. The ensemble aims to preserve and develop forms of dance in Ghana and to be a well-known dance company worldwide. Stephany Ursula Yamoah is the ensemble’s current acting director.

Azaguno was founded by Younge and Badu-Younge in 2001, and they currently direct the international, multi-ethnic group that focuses on traditional African, African American, Caribbean and Latin American dance and music. Azaguno members have researched and performed in various countries around the world.

“Through the drum, the voice, the dance,and other visual art forms, Azaguno brings a unique African theatrical experience,” Younge said.

The Messiah College Symphony Orchestra is directed by Dr. Timothy Dixon and plays both classic symphonic works and new pieces featuring percussion, strings and winds.

The 2022 Global Arts Symposium is March 22-23, featuring a free flow of ideas on the theme of “Arts, Health, Wellness & Sustainable Development.”

More info can be found online.

Younge said he enjoys seeing students, staff, faculty and the community embrace and learn about different cultures.

“The festival brings the entire university and community together,” he said.

The festival will kick off on March 21 with Lunch with the Arts at the West Portico and evening concerts at Baker University Center. It will wrap up with the World Music and Dance Concert at 7:30 p.m. on March 26 at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

All events, except the World Music and Dance Concert, will be free and open to the public.

Tickets to the 10th World Music and Dance Concert are available through Events Services and Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium.