.theProcess a 7 day dance intensive in Ghana


In 2016 I was granted the first ever Brooklyn Academy of Music west African dance fellowship. I used the fellowship to return to Ghana and work extensively with the National Dance Company (GNDC). Over a three month period I was able to rehearse with the company, create new work, and perform with the company, thus fulfilling a career-long dream!

the men of the company in rehearsal

While in Ghana I thought much about my dance families in the US and how much so many of them would love to have the experience I was having. I met with the artistic director of the dance company and the director of the National Theater to discuss the possibilities and comprise a plan. Below is a sketch of what we came up with.

Dancers in rehearsal at National Theater

A cross-cultural exploration of movement and performance modes combining the African-American traditional yet contemporary approach of Kwame Shaka Opare and the traditional repertory work of the National Dance Company of Ghana and the visions of artistic director Nii-Tete Yartey

A televised promotional spot for the performance of Asipim by KSO for the National Dance Co.


  • Excursions to the open air markets of Accra. The markets are vibrant hubs of Ghana's cultural activity and offer a wide canvas for creative inspiration. So much can be ascertained from the nuances of social ritual played out by the peoples of different cultures.
  • Visit(s) to the Accra Arts Center, a large market place that is home to art merchants and craftspersons of varying mediums. There one can acquire and learn about everything from traditional instruments, how they are created and played, to the designing and construction of traditional clothing and the latest in contemporary Ghana fashion.
  • Excursions to the nightclubs on the beach in Korle Gonno, home of the international dance phenomenon, AZONTO
  • Visit to the University of Ghana at Legon dance department to see how their 4 year program prepares the next generation of dancers and musicians
  • Drum and Song classes with the the Musical Director of the National Dance Company to better understand the relationship between the music and the movement
  • Day long Rehearsals (breaking for lunch) with KSO and the National Company
  • Tour of the National Theater including information sessions with the national theater company and the national symphony orchestra.
  • Lessons on history and the culture of Ghanaian dance with the most senior member of the GNDC.
  • Culminating performance of work created from classes, rehearsals, and the collective experience. To be performed with the GNDC!

KSO creating new works the Company

members of NDC Ghana in performance
KSO with members of National Dance Company
Created By
kwame shaka opare


kwame shaka opare

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