IT’S ALL ABOUT MOJAH
“MOJAH” (Moja means one in Swahili)
MOJAH is a classical form for African related dance. MOJAH is a product of creative cultural synthesis. It is the product of critical selections from specific West African dance forms, Horton technique, Dunham technique and Ballet technique with a mixture of several levels.
MOJAH is rooted in both the cultural values and practices of Africa and the U.S. with strict attention to cultural authenticity and values to create a meaningful art form.
MOJAH DANCE 30 YEARS AND COUNTING ..
Terrie Ajile Axam, is the creator and founder of the Mojah dance technique. Mojah is a blend of traditional modern dance (Horton technique), Dunham, Jazz and West African Dance. The terminology , the form, the combination, and choreography are defined system of movement that establishes it as a unique dance form.
Axam’s Mojah technique has evolved tremendously over the past 30 years. Her creation and development of the Mojah dance form begin in the 1970s during her undergraduate and graduate studies at Princeton and Rutgers Universities respectively. She continued to develop Mojah in the 1980s in Macon, Georgia and it is presently the signature dance form for Axam’s Total Dance Company. Mojah is taught through Penn State’s Dance Program and has been performed and taught at Universities nationally and internationally.
Historically, dance pioneers Pearl Primus and Katherine Dunham laid a foundation for African and African derived concert dance in America in the 1940s. Today, Mojah, (among other inventive techniques) helps continue this historical and cultural legacy.
2019 marks the 17th Annual Mojah Conference, which was formerly held in Atlanta, Georgia. Penn State’s Dance Program proudly hosted the 9th Annual Mojah Festival Conference in 2011 as the technique entered into the realm of academic research and scholarship. This platform is significant to the growth, expansion, and relevance of Mojah as a cultural , artistic form and marks a monumental step forward in its evolution.
Each year, the Mojah Fusion Dance Festival showcases the pioneering work of founder, Terrie Ajile Axam and the artists who have contributed to the teaching and evolution of Mojah dance through their artistry including Master Drummer Oginga Love, dancer/choreographer, Dawn Axam, and myself. In addition, the festival highlights other artists whose work integrates multiple cultural or artists elements .
Whether you take a class, attend a performance or hear the sound of the African drums, we hope you enjoy and are inspired by Mojah-Fusion dance!.
A. Kikora Franklin, Assistant Director
Mojah Fusion Dance Festival