African dance styles old and new
featured in “Agbedidi”

November 10, 2015
UF News
photographer: Suzanna Mars

The UF School of Theatre + Dance invites dance lovers of all ages to “Agbedidi,” described as an invigorating dance experience that merges African and modern dance styles into one high-energy performance. Performances will take place in Constans Theatre located in the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion on UF’s campus Nov. 19-20 and Nov. 22. Show times are 7:30 Thursday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.

This year’s production is directed by Mohamed DaCosta and will feature traditional West African dances staged by DaCosta as well as original compositions that blend African dance with African-American contemporary and ballet choreography by assistant professor Trent D. Williams, Jr. Visiting artists Iyun Ashani Harrison and Mouminatou Camara will also perform.

The word “agbedidi” stems from the Ewe language and translates to “long life.” Since the show’s premiere in 1995, each year’s ensemble gathers and performs in honor of Godwin Agbeli (whose last name means "there is life") to encourage the continued life of African-influenced performance around the world.

“‘Agbedidi’ is no longer just about showing people African dance,” said DaCosta. “I want people to see African choreography and African-American work coming together. “This year is a fusion of the contemporary and the African [movement].”‌

Agbedidi 2rows

The show will also feature the revival of a piece DaCosta and Williams choreographed for the School of Theatre + Dance’s Swamp Dance Fest 2015 as well as the work of Camara, a piece by Harrison and a script by Mandisa Haarhoff.

The School of Theatre and Dance’s production of “Agbedidi” is supported by UF’s College of the Arts, Center for African Studies, Center for World Arts and School of Music.

Tickets for the UF production are $18 for the general public, $15 for UF faculty/staff and seniors, and $13 for students. Season and group prices are also available. Tickets are available through the University Box Office located at Gate 1 of the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, by calling 352-392-1653 or at

For more information, please contact Leah Spellman at or 352-273-1489.

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