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November 21, 2015
07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
Spurrier Dance Studio

Performance by the Chinyakare Ensemble, with special guest Rujeko Dumbutshena

Rujeko Dumbutshena is an experienced university dance instructor who was on faculty at Sarah Lawrence College for 8 years and now teaches in the dance department of the University of New Mexico. As a Zimbabwean artist living in America, Rujeko has successfully been a part of innovative works and was an original ensemble member (dancer, singer, mbira player) in the Broadway musical production of FELA!.  Rujeko was commissioned to choreograph and produce an original piece, Jenaguru, as part of the Smithsonian African Art Museum’s African Cosmos exhibit. She received a Brooklyn Arts Council 2013 grant and a BAM/De Vos Institute 2013 Fellowship. She teaches neo-traditional African dance.

The Chinyakare Ensemble is led by Julia Tsitsi Chigamba. Daughter of the highly respected mbira player Sekuru Chigamba, she was a longtime member of Mhembero, the Chigamba family music and dance ensemble, in Zimbabwe. Julia came to the United States in 1999. Two years later, in Oakland, California, she established the music and dance company Chinyakare to share the richness of Zimbabwean expressive culture in the United States. In addition to directing Chinyakare, Julia teaches dance, music and culture in the Oakland schools and in the community.

Under Julia’s direction, the Chinyakare Ensemble boasts a collection of diverse and experienced musicians and dancers from both Africa and the United States. True to its name, "deep tradition," the ensemble represents traditional music and dance from Shona, Ndebele, and other tribal groups from around Zimbabwe.

Selected performance clips can be viewed at:

Category: Humanities Project Events