Orisha Dance

Orisha Dance

Naomi Milagros Washington Roque (MFA in Dance '21)

Spring, 2021

Orisha Dance

Namajala Naomi’s outward facing project is a fête that took place over the course of two days. A fête, in African traditional religions, is a festival or celebration of selected deities that is open to the public.

This fête, based in the Lucumí Relga de Ocha religious and cultural traditions, was an embodied exploration of the medicine within Orisha dance by celebrating and acknowledging the deities and pathways of Ochún and Ogun. We explored the potential of the practice of Orisha dance to inform or support a dancer’s spiritual awareness and/or connection to the Orishas Ochún or Ogun. We were engaging and embodying the pathways of Ochún and Ogun through an Orisha dance technique class, an installation of ritual and ceremonial objects, and a ceremonialized Orisha dance and song class at the Eno River State Park.

Presented by the Duke Dance Program and Naomi Milagros Washington Roque in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Dance in the Graduate School at Duke University.