Ohio Northern University and the Department of Music present “African Music Celebration,” an evening of African drumming and dance led by Benjamin Obido Ayettey, professor and Fulbright visiting scholar, in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m.
The ONU African Drumming and Dance Ensemble will perform several traditional Ghanaian dances as well as some contemporary pieces; Ayettey has composed a piece especially for the group. Other groups will perform between the dances, including pieces featuring cow bells, calabash shells and bamboo flutes.
Ayettey is the artistic director of the Ghana Dance Ensemble and a fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. He is a Ghanaian native of the Ga people and comes from Osu. He joined the Ghana Dance Ensemble in 1980 and obtained his Diploma in Theatre Arts (dance) in 1991 from the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Legon. He obtained a Master of Fine Arts in dance (MFA) in 1997 from Arizona State University, where he specialized in choreography and performance and was a lecturer. He has performed with the Ghana Dance Ensemble all over the world.
In addition to his expertise in traditional Ghanaian drumming and dancing, Ayettey has choreographed many modern dance pieces. Some of his recent works include “Liébe,” a group dance piece performed by the Ghana Dance Ensemble, University of Ghana; “Transcending Turbulence,” a group dance piece choreographed by Ayettey and Sheron Wray; “Coronation Dance,” a group dance piece for the special congregation for the Award of Honorary Doctorate Degrees; “Rite of Passage,” a group dance piece performed by the Ghana Dance Ensemble at the Institute of African Studies as part of the 50th anniversary of the Institute of African Studies; and “Zahinle,” a group piece performed for the university community and the university students.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors. Tickets are $10 for ONU faculty and staff and $5 for ONU students and children. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at https://www.onu.edu/freed