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Kùlú Mèlé African American Dance Ensemble is the most established African dance company in Philadelphia and is dedicated to serving the community by presenting and preserving culture, dance, and music of the African Diaspora. Kùlú Mèlé's mission is met through high quality and authentic workshops, performances, residencies, apprenticeships and study tours that seek to reclaim traditional cultural practices, enable self expression, and liberate and build communities. Kùlú Mèlé serves an estimated 20,000 people annually.
Kùlú Mèlé (KM) serves the community and strengthens the preservation and perpetuation of culture, dance and music of the African Diaspora through four major programs:
1) Cultural Arts in Education; KM offers a wide range of workshops in African dance and music from single session participatory programs and lecture demonstrations to long term residencies.
2) Main Stage Performances; whichbring authentic African culturally based music and dance performances music to the stage. These performances include commissioned choreography and music by seasoned artists and musicians. Artistic Director, Dorothy Wilkie has created several choreographies that have been featured in major venues in and outside of Philadelphia. Additionally, the company has collaborated with numerous dance companies including the Liberian Cultural Dance Troupe and Ballet Folkloric de Cutumba from Havana, Cuba.
3) Apprenticeships/Study Tours; KM continues to learn and preserve performing arts traditions by participating in apprenticeships with recognized master artists. The company travels throughout the African Diaspora for extensive cultural immersion in the countries of origin.
4) Omo Kùlú Mèlé; is a youth performing ensemble of 25 youth ages 4-14 that provides free weekly classes over a 40 week period in traditional African dance, drum and history as well as performance opportunities at major festivals and venues.
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