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Ohio class performs African music and dance

Mar. 17, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- Azaguno, a colorful and vibrant multi-ethnic ensemble, performed African Dance and Drumming in a free performance at Ohio University Southern recently.

Azaguno focuses on research, preservation, education and performance of traditional African music and dance, African American music and dance and other styles from the Caribbean and Latin America, according to a news release from OUS. "The ensemble also creates contemporary intercultural works in new theatrical contexts that fuse the artistic and aesthetic cultural values and resources representative of African experiences in world history.

"Through the drum, the voice, the dance and other visual art forms and paraphernalia, Azaguno brings to the stage a unique African theatrical experience," according to the release.

Azaguno -- which means "a master drummer" among the Ewe people of Ghana in West Africa -- was founded in 2001.

The group is made up of 15 musicians and dancers including 10 apprentices.

The group is co-founded and directed by Paschal Yao Younge, a native of Ghana who is currently an associate professor of Multicultural Music Education at Ohio University with Zelma Badu-Younge as dance director and choreographer. Badu-Younge is also an associate professor of African Dance and Jazz at Ohio University.

Members have trained and researched extensively in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania and Togo in Africa, Canada, the Caribbean and the United States.