Feb 05, 2013


Free and Open to the Public Friday, Oct. 21

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Oct. 13, 2011) - - - Columbia State Community College's Department of International Education, in conjunction with the Lyceum Committee, is hosting Festival International on Friday, Oct. 21 at 9:30 a.m. in the Cherry Theater located in the Waymon L. Hickman building on the Columbia campus. This year's festival, formerly known as Culture Fest, is a varietal blend of cultural performances that are characteristic of West-African-centered percussion, Afro-Cuban dance and Irish step-dancing. The event is free and open to the public.

"With Festival International we aim to expose and celebrate the cultural diversity of our communities by encouraging understanding, appreciation and respect through a fun-filled day of music and dance," said Ana Basoa-McMillan, the director of international education and associate professor of English and Spanish at Columbia State. "The festival is a great way to expose children and adults to the diversity of entertainment and people from across the globe."

The festival opens with a performance by the Nyama Drum and Dance Ensemble led by Shannon Holland, the assistant director and percussion coordinator of the Global Education Center. The ensemble will perform the traditional high-energy dance and drum rhythms of West Africa with Djembe drums. Holland, a master of the Djembe drum, has been perfecting his skills for over 20 years.

Scheduled to perform next is the Elena Garcia Dance Project: Cuban Roots, a blend of dancers from Garcia's Iroko Afro-Cuban Dance Company and Fuzion Dance Artists, a young Latino dance group whom Garcia choreographs. The modern dance pieces merge African and Latino cultures, producing a performance rich in the history, culture and artistic traditions of Afro-Cuban dance and music. Cuban Roots is a unique blend of cultural and ancestral passion of African-based dance and its influence on modern dance.

Closing the show are Irish step dancers from the Scott-Ellis School of Dance in Williamson County. The dancers will give the audience a taste of Celtic tradition with colorful costumes, music from the Emerald Isle and the fast-paced step dances that are reminiscent of the ever-popular Riverdance. The Scott-Ellis School of Dance was founded by Wendi Ellis Windsor-Hashiguchi in 1997, and students learn Irish dance techniques and style, as well as the art, culture, music and history of traditional Celtic dances.
The event has been coordinated with the Scott-Ellis School of Dance and the Global Education Center, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization that uses the arts of diverse cultures to highlight the commonalities of all people and promote cross-cultural understanding and respect through high quality interactive arts programming.

Festival International is sponsored by Columbia State's International Education and Lyceum Committees. For more information, contact Ana Basoa-McMillan at (931) 540-2876 or abasoamcmillan@columbiastate.edu.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.
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