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High School Assembly Focuses on African Dance

At HS Assembly, students were treated to a performance by Jamal Jackson Dance Company and a special viewing of a recent documentary chronicling Dalton alums Sam Pratt '10, Amadi Washington '10, Nick Murphy '08, and Dalton Dance Teacher Jasmin Simmons' trip to Senegal to collaborate with West African dancers.
The assembly began as Dalton Art Director Randi Sloan introduced the Jamal Jackson Dance Company (JJDC), a group that fuses traditional African dance styles with Modern and Hip Hop techniques to create a style that's relevant to a multifarious community. Founded in 2004 by former Dalton faculty member Jamal Jackson, JJDC focuses its choreography on redefining ideas of community and blurring divisive lines, while still celebrating the beauty of individual cultures.
After a stunning performance, Dalton students stayed to watch a recent documentary in which Dalton alums and dance teachers journeyed to Tambacounda, Senegal to visit Thread, a unique artistic and cultural center in Eastern Senegal. The documentary, which was released in early 2018, is a great example of how individuals from different backgrounds can exchange ideas to break down boundaries and enrich a common experience.
Afterward, the film's director and Dalton alum, Nick Murphy '08, joined Jamal Jackson on stage to conduct a Q&A session. Nick shared how Dalton helped influence his career path and Jamal and his dancers talked in further detail about their artistic process and commitment to infuse African culture in their dance themes.


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