For three days at the Dennis C. Moss Cultural Arts Center, audiences will enjoy four uplifting performances of the world premiere of T.W.E.R.K. from the Olujimi Dance Collective. T.W.E.R.K. – “Transnational Dance Works & Practices that Evoke Revolutionary Kinship” will run Friday, Jan. 20 at 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 21, at 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 22, at 3:30 p.m.
Michelle Grant-Murray, who founded Olujimi Dance in 1992, was inspired by her life in Japan and its “creativity, innovation, ancestral practices, culture, history, and a unique philosophy that intersects with West African spirituality.” Upon her return to the United States, Ms. Grant-Murray studied dance pedagogy and relaunched Olujimi Dance Theatre in 2012, which she describes as an “authentic and safe space energized by freedom, liberation, and spirit.”
Today, what is now the Olujimi Dance Collective is comprised of innovators, choreographers, healers, scholars, and storytellers committed to “preservation, sustainability, ecology, and divine feminine power.”
T.W.E.R.K. is a journey that explores the encounter of movement, stories, traditions, sounds, and rhythms of West and Central Africa, through the Global South to Miami. The work explores the divine feminine power as manifested through the female body and the intersections of culture, history, and philosophy.
“The Moss Center recognizes the important role the Olujimi Dance Collective plays in its representation of the rich diaspora in South Miami-Dade. We are honored to have commissioned this new work with funding and support from the Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor, who encourages the Center to uplift the multilayered tapestry of our community through the performing arts,” states Eric Fliss, Managing Director of the Dennis C. Moss Cultural Arts Center.
“The Collective promotes healing and positivity, and they play a crucial role in representation in the arts through their exploration of gender, race, and spirituality. We are proud to host the world premiere of their newest work,” he added.
Ms. Grant-Murray’s overall approach to founding and fostering the Olujimi Dance Collective also expands to 2023’s premiere of T.W.E.R.K., during which the audience is immersed in the exploration of female power and energy. The company will also perform UnEarthed (2012), which deconstructs the myth of the bottle tree and the fervent embodiment of moving memories that epitomize the phenomenology of time.
Tickets for Olujimi Dance Collective’s T.W.E.R.K. are $35 and can be purchased by visiting MossCenter.org, through the Moss Center Box Office in person, or by phone at (786) 573-5300. This performance is part of the 2022-2023 Dance Package [https://mosscenter.org/mc/dance-package.page].
About The Dennis C. Moss Cultural Arts Center
The Dennis C. Moss Cultural Arts Center, informally known as “The Moss Center,” is managed by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding support from the Office of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The Center is dedicated to presenting and supporting arts and culture and providing access to the arts to the entire Miami-Dade County community. More information about the Center and its programs can be found at www.MossCenter.org.
It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The facility is accessible and assistive listening devices are available in the Main Stage Auditorium and the Black Box Theater space. To request materials in accessible format, and/or any accommodation to attend an event at The Dennis C. Moss Cultural Arts Center, please contact Stephanie Aponte, 786-573-5314, firstname.lastname@example.org, at least five days in advance to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).