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The Body Project at the African World Festival Uses the Black Body as an Artistic Medium

This two-year artistic exploration taps into the national discussion of the black body.

Few things compare to the visual combination of rhythm and motion. The dancers of Heritage Works will provide a display of both during the African World Festival at the Wright Museum. Although the event has been an integral part of Detroit's festival scene for 36 years, Rhonda Greene, executive director of Heritage Works, is determined to bring something fresh to the experience. The focus, she says, is on a two-year artistic exploration dubbed "The Body Project."

"There's a lot of national discussion about biases against the black body," Greene says. "This project brings the discussion home through art. Dance is unique in that it uses (the) body as a medium so this project uses (the) body to explore our perceptions of our literal selves, bodies." This year's theme is about the individual's experience, Greene notes. Next year will focus on the community side. She believes that the AWF is the perfect place to showcase work "rooted in Detroit's African-American experience."

36th annual African World Festival

Aug. 17-19, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit

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