I present to you (in the midst of costume shopping, confirming reception goodies, and trying to make sure my head stays on my shoulders!)…
THIS WEEK’S ARTIST . . . TENDAYI KUUMBA
Lover of Life and the pulse that drives it, Tendayi Kuumba is an innovator, performer, dancer, singer, entertainer of the soul born in Washington, DC and raised in Buffalo, NY and Atlanta, GA. During her childhood, the battle of culture and the exposure of classical lines began to construct Tendayi’s non-traditional approach to movement exploration. Trained from the age of 3 in classical Ballet, movement vocabularies of African, Contemporary Modern, and Hip Hop flowed from her pores as if they were meant to be discovered.
Traveling from Buffalo to Italy and beyond, the exploration of dance, song and cultural travel have been the essence of her performance. Tendayi has performed works by artists such as Jasmine Guy, T.Lang, Dawn Axam, Jule Lane, Kyle Abraham, Doug Elkins, Laura Dean, Rae Ransom, Marjani Forte, and Laurie M. Taylor/ Soul Movement, among others.
She has also explored art vocally. Tendayi began singing Jazz standards at the age of 10 in public libraries, and went on to perform with Ujima Theater in Buffalo, NY; at North Atlanta High School as the role of Asaka in Once on this Island; and in the role of Yolanda in Crowns produced by the Spelman Drama Department.
Tendayi Kuumba is a 2010 Spelman Graduate with a BA in Drama and Dance, as well as double minors in Psychology and Womens Studies. She began her choreographic journey during her years in undergrad and has gone on to produce two original works Memoirs of Precipitation and Breathe.
Currently Tendayi Kuumba is a New York resident and company member of ASE Dance Theatre Collective, Liberata Dance Theater, Zifa Dance, and T. Lang Dance. She is also a former member of Axam Dance Theatre and Keen Dance Theater. She is exposing more of her vocal artistry as a local Jazz singer at the Williamsburg Music Center under the direction of Gerry Eastman as well as open mics around the New York City area.
Most recently, Tendayi is bulding on her newly developed dance series/site specific performance project Heartbeat Soundtrack premiering Summer 2012. Tendayi Kuumba states her motivation and love for dance and music be derived from “my music and heartbeat are the soundtrack to my life.”