In West African traditions, the griot, or storyteller, serves the role of historian as well as entertainer. Griots are the repository of oral traditions and the joyful noise of the community. ANAE ventures to take on this storytelling role through music, words, and movement, and whatever fits the feeling.
ANAE, the choreographer, has presented work at New York University along with a variety of stages, clubs, and venues in NYC thanks to hip hop artist Genesis Be. Since 2007, ANAE has worked closely with Genesis, choreographing, casting dancers, staging shows, and performing. In 2010, Genesis premiered her music video “I Don’t Discriminate” which was co-choreographed by ANAE and long time friend Devere Rogers. In 2012, Genesis Be’s multi-faceted company, Open Sky Artworks, will premier their SERVICES offering which will include Choreography by ANAE.
As Nia continues to perform and teach throughout NYC and beyond, ANAE works to further develop her own choreographic voice merging the talents manifested in the many parts of her being.
“To dance is to be free.” Was it the dancer who said it or the choreogra-free-er? The story begins with a child hiding in the shadows with discouragement and self-doubt as her best friends. Dance reaches in, lifts that child out of the shadows and into the light, and instructs the child, “To be free of all inhibitions and fears, all stereotypes and perceptions.”
So the child goes beyond her self-perception to share the story with Hurricane Katrina Victims as part of Atlanta’s Total Dance Company. Through dance she shared the studio which for them had become home after devastation. Through dance she shared the joy of life in the struggle. Through combining dance with poetry she shared the release of burdens and emotions so that dancing together, in verbal and moving lyrics, they were free. Then the dance directs her, “To take the road untaken and to dream the impossible dream.”
High school enters and releases the choreographer who transforms a piece titled “Lost and Lonely” to a suite of pieces titled “Immortality”. Then dancer and choreographer merge and expand in voice and movement at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts telling the story of joy, sorrow, struggle, triumph, love, laughter, and tears; going on to graduate from the shadows into the light and tell the stories of life through poetry, dance and choreography. And the poet looked at them and asked, “Was it the dancer or the choreogra-free-er?”
“To dance is to be free
Of all inhibitions and fears,
All stereotypes and perceptions;
To take the road untaken
And to dream the impossible dream…”