Akwantuo: Plight of the Immigrant

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Akwantuo: Plight of The Immigrant was an evening-length dance concert performed March 9, 10 and 11, 2018, at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in partial fulfillment of the Master of Fine Arts degree from University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies. This paper addresses the creation of the original piece, which blends African and contemporary dance with Ghanaian dance theatre. These styles have been linked to the ramifications of the development of dance in Ghana before and after independence. The project situates the choreographer’s personal experience arriving from Ghana at a US airport. This work tackles the feeling of vulnerability, injustice, frustration, humiliation, disappointment and sheer terror of being at someone else’s mercy when being denied a visa or entry into the United States of America. In sum, this paper is a documentation demonstrating the inspiration, research, movement motif, creative process, and conception of the project.