Adia Whitaker

Adia Tamar Whitaker, Artistic Director of Ase Dance Theatre Collective, graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Dance. Ms. Whitaker has performed Afro-Haitian and contemporary dance in the U.S. and abroad for 13 years. Adia completed the Professional Division U.S. Independent Studies Program at The Ailey School (2001), was a Ford Foundation Special Initiative for Africa Grant Recipient (2004), an Urban Bush Women Apprentice (2005) and a Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (2006). She has received grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council (2007), The Puffin Foundation (2008), the Hip Hop Theater Festival (2008) and the Jerome Foundation (2008). Recently, Ms. Whitaker became a Theater Bay Area CA$H Grant (2009) and Zellerbach Family Fund Grant Recipient (2009). She is currently a Counterpulse Performing Diaspora Artist-In-Residence in San Francisco. Adia has traveled to Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, Ghana, West Africa and Jamaica to study traditional African dance styles in cultural, contemporary, and performance context. Her work has been presented by; Harlem Stage (NYC 2010), Lincoln Center (NYC 2009 & 2010), Young Audiences, (NYC 2010), La Pena Cultural Center (CA 2010), The World Financial Center (NYC 2009), the Brooklyn Museum of Art (NYC 2008), City Parks Foundation Summerstage, (NYC 2008), The Whitney (NYC 2007), ODC (CA 2007), Youth Speaks and The Living Word Project (CA 2007), Hip Hop Theater Festival, (NYC 2005-2007), The Kitchen (NYC 2004), The Caribbean Cultural Center (NYC 2009), Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts (NYC 2005), The Schomburg Center (NYC 2003-2009) and the International Association of Blacks in Dance; Dance Conference at Symphony Space (NYC 2006).

Choreographic Fellow | May 8 – 22, 2006

The Truth About Medusa

Whitaker focused on experimentation and process work around neo-folklore in the African Diaspora, specifically, the African origin and mythological attributes of Medusa.   During the residency, Whitaker sought to inform a collective consciousness and behavior towards understanding and healing among women of color , to help identify which musical and kinesthetic expressions in blues, punk rock, hip hop, and traditional folkloric culture of the African Diaspora draw relative parallels between the ways women of color give voice to their hidden legacies and the ways they perpetuate destructive cycles of oppression, and to shape a contemporary neo-folkloric perception of how the spirit of “Medusa” survives in cultural context today. 

Collaborators in Residence: Sekou Alaje [musician]; Sekou Amennun [multi-disciplinary artist] Courtney Killingsworth, Maria Rivera, Joi Hopkins, Kelly White, Goussy Célestin [dancers]

Featured Artist

Okwui Okpokwasili

Poor People's
TV Room

April 19 - 29
Live Arts, (NY)

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