CMU invites Karen Prall to host African dance workshop this weekend
Junior Madison Williams has been a dancer for 17 years but never had the opportunity to learn African dance.
“I was very excited when I found out that Karen Prall would be coming to our campus. This workshop will allow me to expand my dance background,” the Canton native said.
Prall is an instructor in the dance department from Wayne State University, and she will host an African Dance Workshop this weekend in Rose 127.
On Friday, there will be a workshop from 1 to 4 p.m., on Saturday, there will be two sessions, one from 9 a.m. to noon and another from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The workshop on Sunday will be from noon to 1:30 p.m.
The educator, performer and choreographer in dance styles of the Congo and Afro-modern will also be bringing her drummer along to help showcase some of the different types of African sounds.
“African dance isn’t offered as a class here, so everyone will leave with some new knowledge, including myself. We can move, get exercise and do something new,” Artistic Director of University Theater Heather Trommer-Beardslee said.
Trommer-Beardslee said she went to a conference hosted by Prall’s last year and knew right then that she had to get her to CMU.
Trommer-Beardslee describes her as enthusiastic, smart, magical and patient when it comes to being a dance instructor. Prall has a studio in Detroit, and in 1997 she organized a tour of Ghana for her Art of Motion company members, where they had the opportunity to also perform.
“She can spark creativity in any student and she engages the class in a dynamic way,” Trommer-Beardslee said.
Trommer-Beardslee said dance is more than just technique, and Prall will also be informing students of the background and history of the dances she is showing.
“If you learn the original intent behind the dance style, it will make it easier to interpret through your movement, until you know the reason why the style of dance is being executed, the emotion and technique will be hindered,” Williams said.
Trommer-Beardslee said she expects this dance to be lower to the ground than most American styles. She also said this style gave the initial root of American Jazz, which will be offered in the spring, so it makes for a good introduction.
“There will be a lot of laughing, high energy and hard work involved,” Trommer-Beardslee said.
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