Wednesday, July 24, 2019

nzoCALIFAncestry ushers Genealogy at Nat'l Black Theatre Festival

nzoCALIFA -- July 2019 #Dancestory2019 

Ancestral Communal Kinship thru Genealogy
      Communal kinship exchange and engagement, discussing the importance of Ancestral remembrance and how it revitalizes our Cultural Arts Community. Recognizing Artists as natural mediums for service, we'll draw from the synergy of Ancestral sojourn, to next level our creative moves.

Presenter: Regina “Califa” Calloway, nzoCALIFAncestry 
July 30-31 @12:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m., Embassy Suites Ardmore 1
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

For NBTF2019 Complete Workshop Schedule: NBTF2019- Community Workshops

JULY 29-Aug 3, 2019  For Festival info: 
Get the latest download app: NC Black Repertory Company

The dynamic talents of the Bay serve in Communal Kinship at #NBTF2019
Sistar Janeen Johnson has produced in 50 state, over 5 countries with a profound
Lovefor Stagecraft Production and Consultancy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

MAAFA New Orleans : African Destination Place

nzoCALIFA--July 2019 New Orleans is a vital cultural cradle place of African traditions, Peoples, customs and legacy for the United States and beyond. It remains a critical portal for preserving African-Ancestored life through ritual, atonement and preservation initiatives. Formerly held as sacred ground to the Green Corn Festival for the Houma Native American peoples, it transcended itself through tumultuous colonial occupation [French, Spanish and British] whereby its African descendants through Cultural Spiritual  customs, continued to elevate the space to what is revered as "Congo Square". Affectionately called  "Armstrong Park" for New Orleans Jazz Pioneer Louis Daniel Armstrong aka "Satchmo", the area is also listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places, January 28, 1993 -- an "effort of grace"  with committed leadership spearheaded by Baba Luther Gray and Congo Square Preservation Society.  
       Congo Square remains a treasured sacred site, where Spiritual Global leaders and important rites of passage and atonement take place, and calls upon its descendants to gather in remembrance. One such Annual rite and Celebration ushered by Ashé Cultural Arts Center-An Initiative of Efforts of Grace, Inc., is the New Orleans MAAFA Commemoration, held during July 4th weekend; This year's Commemoration lands on Saturday, July 6th, also notable as it is the transition date of the late Jazz Pioneer Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, Egun Ire'o.  Although the event is Free and open to the public, attendees aligned and of kinship are requested to wear white as there will be a procession with an order of sacred rites of Ancestral remembrance and offering; The program begins at 7A until 11A 701 North Rampart Street.  Only in New Orleans. This year's theme: 

"The past we inherit, the future we create"

For more info regarding Programs of Events and Service visit:

On behalf of Nzo Califa Dance Works, we send a grand salute to Ashe' Cultural CenterCongo Square Preservation Society and to our kinship folk alike, for their invaluable works of service to honor, preserve and elevate our Ancestors.
Ase', Matondo, We give thanks. 


Monday, June 24, 2019

Monday's Matondo- Malonga Day, June 24, 2019

Me on Drum & Sis. Rafeeah in Dance
as Fogo Na Roupa was indeed an invaluable 
force, that was a part of this initiative.
nzoCALIFA - June 24, 2019 This day marks the 16th year of observance of Malonga Casquelourd Day. Recognized by a City of Oakland Resolution, it reflects the legacy of a valiant coalition of Bay Area Community Leaders, Students, Artists, Activists, Cultural Gatekeepers and kinship Communities who rallied together to "SAVE THE ALICE" and eventually HONOR IN MEMORY, the Spirit and Pioneering legacy of one its beloved Warriors ascended:
Ta Malonga Casquelourd.
Flexing my Genealogy tools researching archival records, I utilize these documents to speak for the day; I invite you to review them as they represent the living works that continue to prosper the Malonga Center Community now. transcending. Follow the City Council proceedings, towards renaming the building. See the actual proposal submitted by Muisi-Kongo and Kiazi Malonga that invoked the mission.

NOTE 2014 Council proceeding's "Minute Notes" including Speakers on the agenda from the Malonga Center Community representing the many who "stayed in action" at the different levels of this process, to see this resolution through*:
  • APR 22nd: Championed by Councilmember Nancy Nadel
  • MAY 13th: Muisi-Kongo Shani Malonga - Ayodele Ankoanda Kinchen - Kosa Asghar [iba'e] Mariam Kamara - Regina Calloway - Tamentanefer Lumukanda
  • MAY 22nd: Nancy Nadel - Muisi-kongo Shani Malonga - Rashida Knox
  • JUNE 1st: Mover: Councilmember, Desley Brooks, Seconder: Vice Mayor, Nancy Nadel passed unanimously by City Council.
"MalongaFest" is a celebration of the lasting contributions of our founder and foremost cultural Ambassador, Malonga Casquelourd

Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts
My signature is on page 2 number 26, citing my affiliation as a "Devotee" <slash> Cultural Arts Administrator and Management. There were so many constituents and various organizations, who signed the petition dedicated to the mission to honor the memory and continued legacy of Malonga Casquelourd. See the actual 10 pages of signatures.
Do you recognize any names, Were you one of them? -> [click link]*  
Curated by R. Califa Calloway: An Ancestral kinship commission and Installation of a Communal altar that pays homage to beloved Arts and Cultural leaders of the Malonga Center Commune+Unity, who’ve transitioned into the Ancestral realm. Installed: OCT/NOV 2017 

#                                      #                                       #

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

nzoCALIFA: Walking in Faith to Dance in Spirit, IYANLA

nzoCALIFA-- May 31,2019 Iyanla Vanzant             Acts of Faith REMIX Tour, Stockton, CA. 
"Focus, FAITH & Finish" my daily mantra that held me up during a highly challenging week; Pre-Summer Solstice, I work towards my own REMIX to advance my personal wellness, mind, body and Spirit. However, the crème de la crème that'd serve as Friday's FINALE, was just the beginning. Queen Mother Iyanla Vanzant was in the building folks. Listed on the National Historical Register, the Bob Hope Theatre rose to the occasion to receive one of the most Inspirational Speakers and Spiritual Teachers of our time, invoking a global dynamic Faith Healing movement. Ornate, marbled, and decked in red from stage to lobby the atmosphere buzzed and bustled like an African Marketplace, as folks quickly scooped up the latest in Iyanla merch. We all knew this evening was going to be special for Tonti Iyanla re-upped awaiting devotees, to celebrate Her 25th Anniversary Edition of Acts of Faith...
"...the faith-building inspiration of her Best-Selling Book, Acts of Faith,  from the page to stage."

 It was post college, and I can remember delving into my Aunt Selyah's*  library as she often shared deep wisdom about her own path of healing.  Her "little purple book" was indeed worn and used, so you could tell she had been moving the guidance into practice; I always returned the book to its shelf. Thank you Auntie *iba'e, iba'e tonnu

REEEMIX, Internationally acclaimed, the 25th Anniversary edition successfully makes its re-introduction to new Generations as it remains a welcomed presence for Acts of Faith Alumni.  Once you get your ticket, [Have you gone, did you get your ticket yet?] be prepared upon entry to SEE, BE and WE like kin; Iyanla's Acts of Faith REMIX Tour is indeed an interactive experience for which you'll quickly abandon any notion of attending a show; With such magnetic energy,  you just might convert to being one of the hundreds trying to vie for a glimpse of Her attention. As it was all was so very fulfilling, once I got past the first 20 minutes to realize that I was watching her LIVE and not on TV or on YouTube, I literally went into student mode listening with a keen ear. Completely open, I felt extremely blessed to share such an occasion with so many like minds who convened from all over the country in Stockton, California! As best said by a beloved Stockton native of mine, Janeen Ella Johnson

"Don't get it twisted - Stockton Coming UP !"

Agile and excitement filled, Queen Iyanla was ambassadorship at its finest, a gracious host with the most, and chi'le she looked regal, fine and fierce "no spanks here", [Lol].  And the whole time she kept us present, engaged, up, down, turned around roaring with laughter to "calling a thing a thing". [Lol] And you know WE ALL HAD QUESTIONS, yet a chosen few were addressed drawn from a basket of card submissions in the lobby.
       Now, although mine wasn't selected that night, I'd  receive a call at the crack of dawn, Monday, June 3, 2019 to ask Iyanla Vanzant my question LIVE on  SWAY in the Morning, Shade 45, Sirius XM. *WHHAAAATTT?! there were no post announcements, okay Gurhl, Get Over It
Guided, I delivered the question, and Queen Mother honed in to receive it. And my, what She shared was life-affirming and so much more...(sigh) Listen in as the show invites you in to the gift of this moment, I welcome your earnest thoughts, Ase'o: <<click on arrow to press play>>

Hailing up with a deep note of gratitude to my Brother, Sway Calloway & Soror, Sistar 
Ms Kelly Kinkaid -Thank YOU both, for being vessels of FAITH forward in action; to
the Sisterhood of the shared journey with Barbara Jean Walker, and for the gracious 
hospitality of the good folks that make IyanlaVanzantLIVE on Tour, WELL DONE.
_________________________________________ | 30 Cities: Walk, Drive, Fly, BE there!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Rites in Red Beans and Ricely Yours...

@nzoCALIFA -- Cooking Red beans and Rice is a historically grounding custom of New Orleans traditions, yet carried out throughout the Louisiana hemisphere from it's vital portal through its transplants imported, displaced, migrated and transported. It's a tradition of care-taking and necessity, of duty and the divine and customarily known "to taste its best" on a Monday. *wink* or so-WE-say. 

R.Califa, Nzo Califa Dance Works 


 ...and you don't wanna miss this READ, a tasty offering of New Orleans, Louisiana exquisitely Noire
captured by Mona Lisa Saloy :

Ago ire'o Monday
"...soaked-studying-saute'-mindful-roux-quick look-simmerin'-studying-seasoning-studying-fixin's-and-stirrin'-studying-chorin'-studying; Still answering the re-call of Ancestral culinary remembrance turning over generational cycles of pots." Ago lona 

Closed in the words of Papa Satchmo: 

  "Red Beans and Ricely Yours" 
Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong

#historical #culinarycustom #washGOTdone #spiritualhygiene #neworleans #congosquare #louisiana #oakland #ancestors #bamboulaplayedn #jazzplayon #funkymeterslaiditdown

Saturday, March 30, 2019

I AM LEGACY: Bay Area Congolese Dance and Drum

nzoCALIFA-- de: R. Califa, Creative Director: Today, I'm Dancing in Spirit of the legacy of Saturday Congolese Dance Class held at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. Saturday Classes represents an over 25 year legacy, pioneered by the legendary Malonga Casquelourd.  From Brazza, to New York, it was after his East Palo, California foundation of building, he continued to carve Congolese Dance and Drum Cultural pathways, rooted in Oakland, Bay Area, California. And his Nzo  then, was Everybody's Creative Arts Center founded by Dance luminary Halifu Osumare, and was one of my first Dance training studios. The Historic YWCA building on Webster Street and across the way at the Old Caribee Dance Center, became satellite hubs for Ta Malonga's Congolese Dance Class.  And we continued to Dance right alongside him.

Welcome Home Muisi-kongo Malonga!
After a 5 year teaching hiatus at the Center, Muisi returns 
to teach a special Congolese Dance Class hosted by Ms. Leslie Carter, 
Founder of the African Queens Youth Troupe, Thursday, March 21, 2019
Save these dates: FREE Congolese Dance Classes w/ Muisi-kongo Malonga
Thursday, April 25th  - 6P-7:30P - Malonga Center, Oakland in kinship w/ Ms. Leslie Carter 
Sunday April 28th  - 3:30P-5:00P - Muhammad Ali Cultural Center, East Palo Alto*
*in part of Bay Area Dance Week, Register here:

As the "state of the Arts" Alice Arts building saw its re-emergence in 1987 with "great promise" and did see a great deal of "claim to fame",  Artistic stakes were set firm in the building by Anchor tenant Arts organizations, including Citicentre Dance Theatre.  Citicentre's role maintained a stronghold to advance Multi-Cultural/Ethnic Arts excellence and Ambassadorship.  After the expiration of the Citicentre Dance Theatre institution, key Artists from the Alice Arts Center "locked arms" to form a coalition, including Oakland Activists, Community Leaders and aligned agencies; all on mission, to keep the building out of the grasp of then Mayor Jerry Brown.

     One victory would lead to an untimely tragedy with the death of Ta Malonga, in June 2003; yet the Saturday legacy class prospered on, until its cataclysmic expiration in the Fall of 2017. As swift changing tides of discord would disembowel the very core of this Community, an enforced yet necessary hiatus has since covered the cherished time and space -- still under review and guided resolution with transformation underway...ALL a process, and necessary -- Nevertheless.

How is it that I can write this post in one sweep, with effortless flow? - it's because I'm a witness, and have been a dedicated Student, Participant, Builder, Activist, Creative, Director, Community Caretaker and now Gatekeeper of this Commune+Unity; Although an abridged version, I write this of good Spirit and from MY lens...

I AM LEGACY of the Saturday Congolese Dance and Drum Classes at the Historic Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. And as an Alumnus, this DANCER and DRUMMER can't stop, won't stop! Bay Area Congolese Dance and Drum traditions, shall be UPLIFTED...HAMBA!

~Diata, Diata

What Ta Malonga Casquelourd, used to say 

Fua Dia Congo Company motto:
"Wa Dia Fua Yika Dio"

Nzo Califa Dance Works


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dance Pillars Talk: Black Arts Movement

"It's a Commitment: Two Dance Scholars in Dialogue" 

nzoCALIFA -- It started back in 2016, at a studio on the campus of University of California, Davis, where Dr Brenda Dixon Gottschild and Dr Halifu Osumare  met to talk bout their careers as Dancers and Dance Scholars. In the wake of technological advancement and social media, the wisdom of these Pioneers continue to transcend -- the result is that a PODCAST evolved.  Listen UP, as these Pioneering Agents, weigh in on the air waves, sharing their unique perspectives about the Black Arts Movement on the East and West Coasts. And the conversation lives on the Contemporary Black Canvas platform. 

Please share this all important #Dance News and click on the link provided below

  • special thanks to network kinship @khadijahkee

// @nzoCALIFA / #giveDANCE

Saturday, March 16, 2019

nzoCALIFA: Spring Dance SPRINT - MARCH Moves

@nzoCALIFA Dance Works has been on the move, in the field, conducting sessions and cultivating Dance leadership building, bringing it back all around in FULL CIRCLE. We are ever so pleased to catch this on our live wire - powerFULL #Dance Transformation Agents we've worked with, learned from and have invoked #Dance in shared kinship.
Our Dance is vital and the Commissioned who teach it are invaluable agents in the service. Bay Area get Dancing and make it mean something more.  And we'll be back sooner  ~Regina Califa

Thursday, March 7, 2019

nzoCALIFA - Mardi Gras Oakland 2019



PLAY MAS,                                

nzoCALIFA -- The 2019 Season bursts through this year's global pre-lenten fête with creative fire, Artistic movement as pulse Carnaval cities usher their Greatest Show On Earth. As a Carnavalesca for 30 years + whether a participant or not, the Spirit of the season dwells within you. I remain still amazed by not only the crowing achievements of the Krewes, Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans, the Mas Camps and Jouvert mornings of Trinidad and Tobago to the Escola de Sambas, Maracatus and Bloco Afros of Brasil. Yet, my amazement focuses upon the preparation and process that produces such a feat...WOW.  

Building, creating and being a Creative in Carnaval is a phenomenal experience and speaks to the importance of legacy building as generations are "initiated" into these cultural traditions. This year, the Bay did it their way with lagniappe from New Orleans coin-phrased in its 4th year as Mardi Gras Oakland -- presented by New Orleans natives, The Oakland Secondline Project in partnership with MJ's Brass Boppers; Now residing as Bay, YOU ALREADY KNOW they keeps it BUCK, as Oakland comes thru Yea-Bay ALLLL ON A MARDI GRAS DAY!

The BOOM of the Bay, Boom Shake Music 
invokes their WATER theme and the Universe responds with 
RAIN as the beat goes on! ~vid clip: @nzoCALIFA

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday Celebration in Oakland, CA
No rain stopping this parade, cuz the BRASS played on!

Laissez les bon temps rouler - Let the Good times 
ROLL throughout the year! 2019 sho' you right!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

nzoCALIFA brings tha Beats and Flow with Boom Shake

nzoCALIFA-- The Winter Season ushered the inspiration of WATER this past program session for Boom Shake Music.  An esteemed opportunity to serve as Guest Instructor for the 
Monday Class, a  Drum Workshop for  WOMXN/TRANS/GNC lead by Instructor and Camara,  Monica H. Smith presented to be a dynamic experience.  Guided, we first explore WATER tributaries reflective of the pathways and experiences of our lives and cited these liquid bodies by name; 
An impressive roster formed listing locations and bodies of Water, in their respective language.

In the rhythm section: 
Drawing from an earlier Teaching experience to BSM's Women of Color class a few years ago, I re-introduced works of a 5-bell pattern practice-play: agogo, cow, and bongo based on a Candomble rhythm known as IJEXA. Students learned that in Afro Brasilian Spirituality this rhythm is steeped in African traditions, named for its origins from IJESHA, Nigeria among the Yoruba/Nago peoples.  It is also known to be the rhythm for the Yoruba Orisa, Oxum [Ọṣun, Oshun, Ochun] the sweet river water force bearing wisdom of self love, self worth and of wealth and prosperity; Oxum energy is indeed the  embodiment of the creative flow.

Set with intention and inspiration, Students were also taught 4 separate complimenting patterns  played for Ijesha, drawing from Afro Cuban Lucumi Spiritual traditions known as "Iyessa", and accented with select Rumba cow bell; Primary influence included "Agogo Orisha" of Osogbo, Ọṣun State Nigeria.  Each pattern layered as an accompaniment to the composition, either serving as time keeper, a counter-accent or funky syncopation, all grounded by the double-bell agogo melodic pattern as played in Brasil.

Dare we added a "bateria orchestration" leaning more upon Bloco Afro form, attempting to play with the finesse of Afoxe style; This approach was signature to one of the Bay Area's legendary Bateria Directors,  Mestre Carlos Aceituno[iba'e] Mestre Aceituno hailed from music conservatories of Guatemala and San Francisco, and was an early member of the pioneering Escola de Samba Batucaje'; Mestre also Founded trailblazing legacy of Fogo Na Roupa Grupo Carnavalesco established in 1989, now in its 30th year. His Teaching virtuosity was an unique experience in Music Education and Community Drum. Influenced by Music Artist luminaries from Carlos Santana to Carlinhos Brown, Mestre Carlos too was a talented composer of incomparable musicianship and performance quality. Pleased to hail from these halls as an Alumnus and prospering agent of this grand legacy. Axe Fogo, Ire'0 nzoCALIFA

And the Monday class yielded an impressive playback in only its 1st session.

Obrigada Monday Class, amazing Spirit & Drum force mediums of service.
Special thanks to Boom Shake's leadership & the vital lens of @lupelunada promise to an exciting Season of creative expression. ~com muito Axe'

R. Califa / @nzoCALIFA
Nzo Califa Dance Works