Island artists will lead a live dance workshop on March 1

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Artists from the Ocean Nation musical collective Small Island Big Song will teach dances from their native traditions during a free, live-streamed event. The event is free, but registration is required.

The virtual dance workshop begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1. Viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions during the live broadcast. Learn more about the Center for the Performing Arts’ dance workshop.

A recording of the event will be available to stream on demand from Monday, March 14 at noon through Friday, March 18 at noon. on demand for more information.

A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board helps make the program free.

The artists of Small Island Big Song will teach two dance pieces:

  • Sega dance and music, from the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius, will be led by Emlyn (singing and dancing) and Koko (percussion). Sega is danced without the feet leaving the ground and uses the rest of the body to channel the movement.
  • A war song and dance from the Pacific Ocean nation of Taiwan will be led by songwriter-musician Sauljaljui with backing vocalist Putad.

The dance workshop is the first in a series of engagement events and a Penn State residency that will conclude with a multimedia performance on April 7 featuring artists from the collective. To visit little island big song for more information on the April event.

Small Island Big Song is part of a multi-platform project founded by Taiwanese producer BaoBao Chen and Australian music producer Tim Cole. They have spent over three years documenting over 100 artists in communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, including Madagascar, Borneo, Tahiti, Bali, Guam, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

In addition to raising awareness of environmental issues facing island nations, the project explores a theory of migration that seeks to establish musical connections between cultures and accentuates similarities in regional instruments, voices and rhythm.

The Penn State International Dance Ensemble Endowment provides support.

The presentation is part of “The Reflection Project,” funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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