Wednesday, July 22, 2015

nzoCALIFA - Kalunga Crossings: Mama Djaara - Dancestor

"Water Runs Through It" conceived by New Orleans native, Leslie Zakiya Cornish  - whose Dance sojourn of African American identity steeped in the historical backdrop of the Black Civil Rights movement and African Liberation cultivated through International Ambassadorship by premiere African Ballet Companies of the times -- the catalyst in further establishing a long-time kinship exchange and presence of African Dance and Drum Communities in the United States. The real gift of this piece as part of her M.F.A. Thesis concert at Temple University, reveals a Mother-daughter Ancestral cycle story influenced by "her intimate connection to the radical impact of Hurricane Katrina, and the invocation of two bodies of water inherently connected to her ancestral roots - the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean."  The featured soloist in the center is Zakiya's Mother a celebrated Dance Elder and Medium - Mama Djaara.

"Water Runs Through It: Rogation"  

Her mother Djaara Linda Pijeaux aka "Mama Djaara", iba'e, ibae tonnu, transitioned on the 4th of July, shortly after a celebration of Life Party presented by her Commune+unity in New Orleans.
original photo courtesy of  Zakiya L. Cornish, daughter
     I first met Mama Djaara on the #Dance floor at a conference held at Tulane University in the Summer of 2005. And while dancing Palo in another class of the conference taught by Baba Richard Gonzalez she broke into Mardi Gras Indian mode like like a shape shifter as blaring news had reached us minutes away, that our Big Chief Tootie "Allison" Montana had fallen from a heart attack presenting right before the New Orleans City Council Chambers about the abuse upon Mardi Gras Indians by NOPD. The whole room transformed as tams popped and chants began - I fell in, next to her. And at the historical Funeral Procession/ Second line July 9th, #YPH Queen was the transcendental Spirit that brought reverence and a smile to the day -- Mama Djaara commanded "the Dance" -- She is now honored as my Dancestory of indomitable Spirit and sweet grace; A RN, Cultural Caretaker and Mardi Gras Indian Queen with Yellow Pocahontas - survived by 2 Adult children, grands, Family members Cultural community & wealthy legacy of #Dance Spirit -- TRUST I shall #Dance higher. ~Love and sweet ease to Sis Zakiya & Family, Commune+Unity & affected kinship.

~R. Califa Calloway
Nzo Califa Dance Works
Congo SQ West Kinship Society

Kumbuka Dancers & Congo Square Commune+Unity lifts up kinship member Sis Zakiya
photo cr: Peter Nakhid

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

nzoCALIFA imbued in BLUE

For the LOVE of #Dance, support the "My Bare Soles Bare Soul project" *click on link*

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

African Dance Showcase: "Knowledge Keepers"


18th Annual Collage des Cultures Africaines  
"Knowledge Keepers" 

#COLLAGE2013 March 9, 2013 
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Oakland, CA
produced by Diamano Coura West African Dance Company

COLLAGE 2013 "Knowledge Keepers" celebrates those teachers and cultural, honoring their works as cultural innovators recognized as International Ambassadors of the Arts! Collage 2013 showcases a stellar cast of cultural artists [in order of appearance of clip] Diamano Coura West African Dance, Dimensions Dance Theater (40 years of Black Dance), Julia Chigamba and Chinyakare (Zimbabwe), Starchild Dannce (Lindy Hop, Hip Hop, Jazz), Rara Tou Limen (Haitian) and The African Music and Dance Ensemble (Ghana) not shown.  Finale by the show's Host Diamano Coura.
[source:@Madioudiouf on YouTUBE]

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th: In the Fireworks midst - Lest WE forget #NOLA!

Lest we forget to call "their" names #Ancestors iba'se...and with divine permission give praise to the mighty forces of God that facilitate their sweet ascension. Hekuah Ọya-Iyansan! ~MAAFA2015 - Congo Square, USA via Kim Vaz-Deville, Author

As symbolic racist flags come down, this RBG Flag goes UP in remembrance! 

March in conjunction with the #BYP100NOLA action against White Supremacist monuments... #FrenchQuarter
Ole Miss' knows just HOW our Soul runs deep... #NOLA #MAAFA2015
chanting " more violence, no more pain." ~may the petitions be accepted in good favor.