* Black Cultural Center

April 4, 2007

Purdue's Jahari Dance Troupe to perform Spring Revue

Jahari Dance Troupe
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The Jahari Dance Troupe from Purdue University's Black Cultural Center will perform "Livin, Learnin and Lovin ... Reflections Inspired by Gullah Tradition" at its annual Spring Revue at 7 p.m. April 21 in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse.

Tickets, $5 for students and $7 for the general public, are available at the Loeb box office by calling (765) 494-3933.

This semester students at the Black Cultural Center have been studying the Gullah, a group of black Americans from South Carolina and the Georgia Sea Islands that has retained its African culture because of geographic isolation. The dancers created a production that reflects what they learned.

BCC artist-in-residence Kevin Iega Jeff, a professional dancer who founded Chicago's Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, choreographed and staged the main production. Additional choreography was contributed by Jahari Dance Troupe member choreographers Derrick Burden, a senior majoring in management from Gary, Ind.; Jania Bell a graduate student from Decatur, Ga.; Krystle Coleman, a freshman majoring in management from Oak Park, Ill.; and Charniese Miller, a freshman prepharmacy student from Chicago.

"The movement is informed by African, ballet, folk, jazz, modern and hip hop dance styles and is laced together with reflective narrative written by Jahari members," Jeff said.

One of the pieces to be performed will be the traditional African Harvest Dance. The ceremonial dance is performed to celebrate a good harvest and is usually performed during festivals and other social occasions. Professional artist April Turner choreographed the piece while the students were in South Carolina.

The Jahari Dance Troupe was established in 1971 and is one of four performing arts ensembles housed within the Black Cultural Center. The group, named for the Swahili word meaning jewels, is a student company trained in a variety of techniques that range from traditional styles to contemporary trends in black dance. Jahari's repertoire includes African, ballet, Caribbean, folk, jazz, modern dance and music video dance styles.

Writer: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432,

Source: William Caise, BCC assistant director, (765) 494-4630,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


The Black Cultural Center's Jahari Dance Troupe rehearses for its annual Spring Revue, which will take place at 7 p.m. April 21 in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse. (Purdue photo/Mark Simons)

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