This Week on One Detroit Arts & Culture:
At the Center for Performance Arts and Learning, or Cen4Pal for short, culture and diversity come together to provide a safe space for individuals to try out the creative arts. With now 50 different instructional classes ranging from visual art, music, dance and creative expression classes, Cen4Pal strives to provide an inclusive environment and a springboard for young artists and educators to learn or teach a new craft.
Detroit Public TV’s “Detroit Performs: Live from Marygrove” team visits Cen4Pal, in Wixom along the Novi-Wixom border, to talk with the organization’s Cultural Ambassador Nandita Bajaj, Program Director Collin Kuss and Business Manager Gary Elsner about the environment Cen4Pal is cultivating and the mission to boost students’ confidence through the creative arts. Plus, the organization’s aerial and yoga instructor Katie Hoffman talks about the mixed aerial arts classes she teaches and the overall expansion of the organization since it began.
The Dance Theatre of Harlem combined movement, melody and history in their latest performance, “Higher Ground,” which paid tribute to Stevie Wonder and his influential music. Before performing at the Michigan Opera Theatre earlier this year, the dance company took a visit to Hitsville U.S.A. to find some inspiration from where Wonder got his start back in the day.
One Detroit’s AJ Walker met up with the dance company at the Motown Museum where Resident Choreographer Robert Garland and dancers previewed parts from their “Higher Ground” performance. Walker talked with Garland and senior dance member Lindsey Donnell about the inspiration they found, the reason for choosing Wonder’s music as a basis for their performance, and the parallels they see from Wonder’s music in causes like Black Lives Matter today.
Music listeners and internet users across the globe may likely know the Russian band Pussy Riot, who were persecuted for fighting against political oppression, but what about the four-piece Ukrainian quartet with Detroit connections, DakhaBrakha? Cultural performances, like the ones DakhaBrakha put on, and Ukrainian heritage as a whole stand at risk of being stripped away by attacks from the Russian government.
One Detroit’s Bill Kubota connects with WDET Radio Host and Concert of Colors Director Ismael Ahmed to learn more about the quartet’s connection to Detroit and the cultural significance of their music across the globe. Plus, Ahmed talks with DakhaBrakha’s Artistic Manager Iryna Gorban to hear what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine and how the quartet and other citizens are being affected by the conflict.
A Detroit native, Ellis has played drums, percussion and more for the likes of international recording artists Les Nubians and Mahogany Jones, as well as co-drummed in Jessica Care Moore’s “Black Women Rock” collective. Known to many as the “drumlova,” Ellis currently plays drums for Mollywop, a Detroit-based multi-genre band.
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The Center for Performing Arts & Learning (Cen4Pal) provide an inclusive environment and a springboard for young artists and educators to learn or teach a new craft. The Dance Theatre of Harlem combined movement, melody and history in their latest performance, “Higher Ground,” which paid tribute to Stevie Wonder and his influential music. One Detroit’s Bill Kubota connects with WDET Radio Host and Concert of Colors Director Ismael Ahmed to learn more about DakhaBrakha. Plus, a performance by the Aisha Ellis Trio.
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