By: Eva Wilf
DAH hosted our first event at Mount Nittany Middle School on March 27, 2022. With live dance, music, and voice production by the Roots of Life Performing Arts Ensemble and a guest production by PSU’s Urban Dance Troupe, we were able to gather a total of 216 food items to donate to the Helping Hands Pantry. That is equivalent to 192 meals!
To start off the program, all involved students warmed up and welcomed the audience. Kikora Franklin, the director of Roots of Life (RoL), then gave an introduction to RoL and their mission. Performances of traditional West African dances soon followed, starting with Kuku and Sunu, both done by third to fifth grade students. “A Seat at the Table,” a dance displaying March 27th’s theme, was then done by sixth through twelfth grade students. After a drumming interlude, Sofa—“We Bring Knowledge” and Tiriba—“We Bring Culture” were performed by older students within RoL.
A guest PSU singer performed Blackbird by Paul McCartney, to present the “We Bring Faith” aspect of performance. Choreographed by local dance instructors, RoL students performed Perhaps the World Ends Here, a poem by Joy Harjo, mixing the spoken word of that poem with traditional dance.
While answering the question of “What do you, and want others to, bring to the table?” RoL students gave a short theatrical production directed by a PSU instructor from the School of Theatre. Students were able to answer this question, providing many perspectives on the 27th’s theme of “A Seat at the Table.”
Maya Angelou’s A Brave and Startling Truth was choreographed and danced by local guest artists, followed by Ludovico Einaudi’s Night, performed and choreographed by Kikora Franklin.
Claire Chi, our director and founder of DAH, introduced DAH. We are the first organization to donate to the Helping Hands Pantry!
As the finale of the 27th’s performance, the Urban Dance Troupe gave a guest show. RoL then did a community circle: this is something they end with at every annual show.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on the 27th! We look forward to continuing on our journey of relieving food insecurity in State College with you.