Elon University’s Performing Arts department presented “Abusua” in honor of Black History Month. The performers reflected a narrative of the struggles within the Black community. They incorporated realistic experiences that captivated the audience with a mixture of contemporary and Jazz. 

The dedicated and passionate performers explored the beauty of Black culture through traditional African dance at McCrary Theater on Feb. 16 and 17. They used the term Abusua to represent their idea of family, according to artistic director Keshia Wall. This was a recurrent theme throughout the performance which reflected their values as a diverse group. 

Junior Mae Curington attended the concert and praised the dancers for their dedication to their performance. She also said the group highlighted struggles she was often aware of as a Black woman. 

“I can see how everyone put forth hard work to create a beautiful masterpiece,” Curington said. “I appreciate the group acknowledging the challenges we face in the black community. This was an interpretive dance that helped tell a story.” 

Senior Gaby Minionis was one of the dancers in the performance. Minionis was part of Robin Gee’s section, “the Reckoning,” at the beginning of the dance. She said performing in “Abusua” was an honor and gave her an opportunity to learn about the problems Black individuals face every day.

Ruth Cruz | Elon News Network
“Abusua” Dance Concert illustrates a black narrative with traditional African dances on Feb. 16 at McCrary Theatre.

In this performance, the narrative explored racism in America through a Black Lives Matter demonstration. The dancer's movements represented the power of the Black voice.  

“It was the first dance of the night and it truly was so inspirational learning about the history behind the piece as well as the protests and the actual noises,” Minionis said. “That really brought us, as the dancers, into the storyline. It was such a powerful and moving piece that I will always cherish and never forget.”

Minionis has been dancing since she was 1 year old and said her love for dancing has grown over the years. Now she is pursuing a BFA in dance performance and choreography at Elon. She said dancing inspires her creativity and helps her find her voice.

“It was a way for me to express my voice and stick up for things,” Minionis said. “To be inspired and create concepts that truly impact my life and it is something so beautiful that I want to do as long as I live.” 

From the audience, Susan Delaney was mesmerized by this group of talented dancers. She was so impressed by their performance that she said she believed they could reach the American Dance Festival. 

“They were just a blast,” Delaney said. “I feel like you can connect with them just by watching their performance. It made me want to get up and dance.” 

Delaney was informed about this event by her husband, who works as an adjunct instructor in music at Elon. She said this performance was a great opportunity to dive into Black culture and recommended that others give it a chance. 

“It was very motivational and fascinating to see how these young dancers express themselves with this wild energy,” Delaney said.

For more information, visit Elon Performing Arts’ or follow the department on Facebook and Instagram for upcoming events.