West Virginia State University Presents “HaMapah/The Map”

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363

March 19, 2015
West Virginia State University Presents “HaMapah/The Map”
a Multimedia Genealogical Dance Journey by DNAWORKS
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – A world-renowned multimedia dance show tracing the intersection of African, Jewish and Native American heritages will be performed Wednesday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. on the campus of West Virginia State University (WVSU).

“HaMapah,” which in Hebrew means “the tablecloth” or “the map,” will be performed at the theater of the Davis Fine Arts Building as part of “Essential Stages: The Donna Skeen Visiting Theatre Artists Series.” The performance is free and open to the public.

Conceived and performed by Daniel Banks and Adam McKinney “HaMapah/The Map” weaves contemporary dance with archival material, personal interviews, Yiddish and American songs and video set to traditional, contemporary and classical music. The performance explores issues of identity, culture, self-hood and community.

Following the performance, Banks and McKinney will lead a discussion about the audience’s relationship to the ideas explored in the piece – heritage, ancestry and identity.

“HaMapah/The Map is a phenomenal performance that we are fortunate to bring to West Virginia,” said WVSU Professor of Theatre Susan Marrash-Minnerly. “It is a moving and powerful piece that shows we are all connected and not that different and separate from one another.”

Banks and McKinney are the co-directors of DNAWORKS, an organization which promotes community action and healing through the arts. In addition to the performance of “HaMapah/The Map” the pair will also conduct two workshops, which are also free and open to the public.

The first workshop, “Hip Hop Theatre,” will take place Tuesday, March 31, at 5 p.m. in the theater of the Davis Fine Arts Building. This workshop will be conducted by Banks, who founded the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative, which promotes youth-expressionism and provides leadership training. The group’s intention is to integrate the rigors of theatre with the performance elements and politics of the youth-driven culture of Hip Hop as well as to train participants to lead workshops and facilitate dialogue about social issues pertaining to Hip Hop. In its history, the Initiative has hosted international community action projects as well as a curriculum of courses.

The second workshop, “We the Griot” will take place Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in the theater of the Davis Fine Arts Building and will be presented by both Banks and McKinney. It will explore the idea of the community healer, or the griot, in traditional African societies. Out of this workshop will come an understanding of devising theatre from one’s own personal source material. Participants will also learn a model for generating community dialogue and story circles in order to explore the relationship between art-making and community building.

Essential Stages: The Donna Skeen Visiting Theatre Artists Series began in fall 2014 with the goal of featuring various artists from around the nation performing and leading discussions about how theatre works, their experiences as working artists and how communities benefit from the arts.

The series will conclude April 22-23 with a master class in mime and a look at the works of Charlie Chaplin. All performances, workshops and master classes are free and open to the public.

For more information please contact Professor Susan Marrash-Minnerly at (304) 766-5110 or visit www.wvstateu.edu/ArtistSeries.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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