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Orisha

Oni Brown

A dance work inspired by the Yoruba traditions of Cuba, Brazil and West Africa.

Details

Oni Brown is a choreographer and dancer with many years experience in many genres of dance. Oni is developing a dance work inspired by the Yoruba traditions of Cuba.

In her own words:

Although trained in European American forms of concert dance such as ballet and modern, my current work is grounded in Afro-Caribbean dance. In my choreography, lines are paired with rhythm and idiosyncratic postures. I explore this style and see the divine in my dance by incorporating the study of Afro-Cuban Orisha dance.

The first dance being explored is about the Orisha, Oshun, guardian of the river, love and fertility. Her waters evolve from soft and sweet to turbulent and angry as her emotions fluctuate based on the payment given for her services. As she receives adequate payment, her waters provide the gifts she is known for: love, sensuality, sexuality and fertility. This work was presented in the form of a bare-bones solo in June 2012 as a culmination to The Field's Emerging Artist Residency Program, which lasted 6 months. The showcase took place at Dance New Amsterdam. Since that time, I have studied Afro-Cuban dance and explored my heritage as a Jamaican woman. I spent many months with a beautiful elder in my community, who has imparted me with so much knowledge and guidance on my personal development and dance. I am forever grateful for his work with me.

On April 26th and 27th, 2013 I presented the second showing of this project. Ogun to Oshun: An Afro-Caribbean Dance Performance will be presented at The Actors Fund Arts Center in downtown Brooklyn. In this piece, the Orisha Ogun is overworked. He escapes to the forest and no work can be done. Oshun's sensuous dance brings him back. I think of it as a lesson for the overworked on rediscovering love and joy--a relevant story for all of us.

In May of 2012, I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised $2,687 for the project expenses. The project is also the beneficiary of a rehearsal space grant from The Actors Fund Arts Center equal to $2,250. There are still many costs to cover. This work needs your support to pay for the rental of the theater space, pay artists, marketing materials and afford costumes, among other costs.

Like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/OguntoOshun
For more information: www.onibrown.net