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On April 5-8, ECU will host the four-day Nile Project residency – the last stop on a spring tour of six college campuses across North Carolina. Musicians from 11 Nile countries are helping bring awareness of the ancient river basin’s history, politics, culture and environment. (Contributed photo by Habi Girgis)

 

NILE UNITY

ECU hosts musicians promoting awareness of ancient river basin

April 5, 2017

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

East Carolina University dance students will deliver a culminating performance designed to inspire unity as part of the international Nile Project on Saturday.

Starting Wednesday, ECU will host the four-day Nile Project residency - the last stop on a spring tour of six college campuses across North Carolina.

Students rehearse a dance piece to be performed during the Nile Project at ECU on April 8. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Musicians from 11 Nile countries are helping bring awareness of the ancient river basin's history, politics, culture and environment. Their program includes presentations to public school groups, a Voyages of Discovery Lecture on Thursday by Nile Project founder Mina Girgis, and a concert Friday in Wright Auditorium - the finale to the S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series season.

"It's really interesting because the people in the Nile project don't all speak the same language but they use movement to express themselves," said ECU junior Chloe Ament. "We can say a lot through our movement."

Ament is one of associate professor Teal Darkenwald's dance students who have spent the spring semester learning and fine-tuning the performance they will present Saturday during a celebration of research and creative activity as a parting gift to the visiting musicians. Darkenwald's Honors College class with Susan Pearce, associate professor of sociology, anchors the Gifts to the Nile session, where ECU students will present performative offerings inspired by the Nile Project visit.

"I'm so pleased that students from across the university have embraced the project by engaging in the lectures, workshops, panels and performances," said Michael Crane, associate dean of research, marketing and outreach in the College of Fine Arts and Communication and SRAPAS director.

Musicians from 11 Nile countries are visiting ECU on a tour of six North Carolina college campuses. (Contributed photo by Habi Girgis)

ECU junior Emma Konnick said the dance piece encourages a closeness and connection with each other - a central theme for the Nile Project which uses music to connect audiences to the world's longest river and bigger issues such as water resources and sustainability, according to the project website.

"The Nile Project is a collaborative form. It's cool to see collaboration in the music and history; it's been an eye-opening experience," Konnick said.

The choreography for the piece is rhythmic, with a strong backbeat. "It drives our energy," Ament said.

ECU senior Jacob Regan added "This piece is all about unity. It inspires a coming together as one."

The Nile Project residency is supported by Student Involvement and Leadership, the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the Honors College, the College of Fine Arts and Communication, the S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series, Arts Smart and South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council.



East Carolina University will host The Nile Project April 5-8. 

Acclaimed musicians from 11 Nile countries will inspire, educate, and empower audiences to collectively work toward the sustainability of shared ecosystems. "The project uses music as the lubricant to discuss sustainability and hydropolitics in a non-confrontational manner," said CEO and ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis.
   
Free ECU student tickets are available in advance at Mendenhall's Central Ticket Office for the Voyages of Discovery "Music, Citizen Engagement and Water Resources" lecture by Girgis on Thursday and the Nile Project concert on Friday. Both events will be held in Wright Auditorium.

Learn more, watch videos or buy tickets at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/nileproject.cfm.

Here is a list of Nile Project events at ECU:

Music & dance workshop       
Learn two distinct African music and dance styles. Bring your own instruments. Participation encouraged. Observers welcome. Workshop, April 5, 5 p.m., free, Wright Auditorium.

Zar: Indigenous African Religion Empowers Women?
Learn about the trance ritual Zar and the role of women vis-a-vis the interaction between Islam, Christianity and indigenous religions. Panel, April 5, 6 p.m. free, Fletcher Music Center.

Zar: Female traditions along the Nile
Learn a variety of Zar songs and rhythms. Workshop, April 5, 8 p.m., free, Wright Auditorium.

The Nile & African Identity
What does it mean to be a citizen of the Nile? Panel, April 6, 10 a.m., free, Mendenhall Student Center

Water Resources: Nile Basin & North Carolina's Tar-Roanoke Rivers
Experts compare and contrast water issues. Panel, April 6, 11 a.m., free, Mendenhall Student Center

Think Globally, Act Locally
Take an active role in supporting sustainability. Panel, April 6, noon, free, Mendenhall Student Center

River stories
Explore the diverse ways our rivers create meaning in our cultures, with Nile Project and local experts. Panel, April 6, 1 p.m., free, Mendenhall Student Center

Music, citizen engagement & water resource management
Nile Project CEO Mina Girgis offers a Voyages of Discovery lecture. April 6, 7 p.m., $10 public, students free, Wright Auditorium

The Nile Project Informance
Middle school students experience the music, dance, history and hydropolitics surrounding the Nile River basin. Informance, April 7, 10 a.m., ticketed at $6

Music & arts entrepreneurship
How does the creative class transform vision and inspiration into a sustainable livelihood? Discussion, April 7, 11 a.m., free, Fletcher Music Center

The Nile Project in concert
An epic concert, followed by a question and answer session
Concert, April 7, 8 p.m., $25 public, students free, Wright Auditorium

World music jam
Nile Project musicians celebrate IGCC Day. Jam, April 8, 10 a.m.,
free, held at the Lucille Gorham Inter-Generational Center on 5th St.

A video overview of the project (previous tour):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bA6PTGzgpg

A TEDx Talk from one of the project's founders:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvxkxZzcjrI

For more information, email cranemi@ecu.edu.

ECU dance students rehearse piece to be performed Saturday during a celebration of research and creative activity as a parting gift to the visiting musicians. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

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