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November 7, 2015 - NJPAC - Newark, NJ
Wofabe African Dance and Drum Festival
Umoja Dance Company
Company Profile

UMOJA has been recognized as one of New Jersey’s premier dance companies. Within the past nine years UMOJA has achieved many important milestones. UMOJA was selected to perform at Aaron Davis Hall as a part of the New Vision/New Voices Choreography Showcase for People of Color, curated by Gus Solomons, Jr. The company was presented for two consecutive years by The New Jersey Performing Arts Center for its Kwanzaa Celebration. UMOJA appeared on NBC Today (a Saturday morning News program) in celebration of Black History month.

Umoja Dance Company

February 2001, Love had the honor of being commissioned by two outstanding New Jersey organizations: The Westfield Symphony Orchestra and the NJ Chamber Music Society. Westfield’s conductor David Wroe selected Love to choreography a new piece to Darius Milhaud’s “Le Creation du Monde.” The piece was an eclectic blend of West African and modern dance that premiered at the Union County Arts Center in Rahway, NJ. The NJ Chamber Music Society commissioned Love’s choreography for two West African tales, Anansi the Spider and the Rabbit at the Water Hole. She was joined by Linda Goss, Storyteller and Paul Arslanian composer.

In 1997, the company traveled to Durham, North Carolina to participate in the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference held at Duke University. UMOJA was also presented by Montclair State University as part of The Great Events Performance Series. The company has performed in the following choreography showcases in New York: Dance Theater Workshop FRESHTRACKS, Symphony Space Dance Sampler, Mulberry Street Theatre: Newsteps, St. Mark’s Danspace: Food For Thought, P.S. 122: New Stuff, Fieldday at The Ubu Repertory Theatre and Joyce Soho as well as the New Generation in Dance/Dance in Education Fund Concert held at SUNY Purchase. Umoja has self-produced three concerts at Montclair State University.

Umoja Dance Company

UMOJA has also been presented at the following venues: Terpsichore Sand, Newark Symphony Hall, Mary Burch Theatre, Luna Stage Company, Rutgers University, Union County College, Montclair High School, Riker Hill Art Park, Montclair Women's Club, The Baird Community Center, The 100 Black Men New Years' Eve Celebration, The Montclair Arts Awards Ceremony, Montclair State University's African-American Family Festival, and the Montclair African-American Heritage Day Parade. As a part of UMOJA’S quest for community outreach the company performed and presented workshops for The Vivian Gaunt Scholarship Fund, Newark EMA HIV Health Services Planning Council Convention, The Links, Inc. Conference for Youths, Community Day Nursery, Capezio Dance Foundation, Merck & Co, and Ethicon Corporation.

The members of UMOJA have very diverse dance, theatre and musical backgrounds. The dancers have worked and, or studied with the late Pearl Primus, Woody McGriff, and Talley Beatty, as well as Katherine Dunham, Judith Jamison, Kevin Wynn, Sean Curran, Nicholas Leichter, Gus Solomons, Jr., Joy Kellman, Alfred Gallman, Andre Tyson, Jackie Villimil, Gwen Welliver, Chuck Davis, Shapiro & Smith, Donald McKayle, Bebe Miller, and Ron Brown.

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