VCU iCubed Visiting Artist MK Abadoo is “Breakout Star” in Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch

MK Abadoo artist profile photo

RICHMOND, Va.—DMV-based choreographer and cultural organizer, MK Abadoo, is one of 25 artists in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” list of 2018 breakout stars in the dance field. Abadoo’s community-based creative practice is highlighted, with DC critic Lisa Traiger calling her an “unapologetic activist” who “speaks her truth to power.”

Abadoo recently joined the Richmond arts community as a Visiting Arts Fellow within Virginia Commonwealth University’s new transdisciplinary initiative, the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation (iCubed). As a member of iCubed’s Racial Equity, Arts and Culture Core, Abadoo brings her background in dance as a medium of social change to her teaching in the Department of Dance and Choreography, and in support of local racial justice community organizing.

“I’m in awe of, and overcome by, the multiple dialogs in play: the political, the spiritual, the everyday, the cathartic, the painful, and the beautiful. Dance, or any other art form, rarely effects me this way,” says Andrew Sargus, writer for thINKing Dance, responding to his experience with Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home.

Abadoo brings her work, Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home (OBROH), to Richmond this March 23 and 24, at the Grace Street Theater. Featured as a top pick for the best dance performances of 2017 in the DC area, OBROH has been highly praised for its use of community and audience engagement, inviting the entire audience on stage for the first act of the performance. The piece will feature VCUarts dance students and Abadoo’s partners and collaborators from local organizations that advance the progress of African American women and girls.

For further information contact: MK Abadoo, mkabadoo@gmail.com, 443-745-5437

About MK Abadoo

MK Abadoo is a choreographer, educator and cultural organizer. Combining contemporary and classical, modern, neo-traditional West African, and African American Funk dance styles, her work disrupts power dynamics in support of transformative social change from a womanist perspective. She is an inaugural Visiting Arts Fellow in the Racial Equity, Arts and Culture Core at the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation (iCubed) of Virginia Commonwealth University. As a 2016-2017 U.S. Fulbright Fellow, she recently conducted eight months of creative research at the Noyam African Dance Institute in Dodowa, Ghana, and with the National Dance Company of Ghana. Prior to this period, she performed for over a decade with internationally renowned dance companies and choreographers including Gesel Mason, Liz Lerman, Urban Bush Women, David Dorfman Dance and the Dance Exchange.  She is also a 2017 Forty Under 40 awardee by Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund for her leadership and achievement in the arts. She earned her BFA in dance education from the University of the Arts, certificate of Africana studies from the University of Ghana and an MFA in dance from the University of Maryland. To stay connected, visit mkabadoo.com.

About iCubed

iCubed at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a cutting edge institute focused on catalyzing collaborative connections between the university and the community at large through innovative academic and research programs. Our transdisciplinary core teams collaborate with key community members in order to develop holistic solutions to 21st century urban challenges within the Commonwealth. For more information about iCubed or to apply to one of the transdisciplinary core teams, please visit: icubed.vcu.edu.

For further information about the iCubed Racial Equity, Arts and Culture Core, please contact: Salem Tsegaye, sntsegaye@vcu.edu, 804-828-1701

Featured photo credit Kwame Opare

Date:

January 16, 2018