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Campus News / News

Rockford University Forum Series: Holding Culture in the Body- Body Music and American Vernacular Dance

03/19/2019 10:12 am

Rockford University welcomes Evie Ladin and Keith Terry on Tuesday, March 26, 7 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel, as part of the University’s Spring Forum Series.

Evie Ladin (percussive-dancer, choreographer, singer, songwriter, banjo player, and square-dance caller) and Keith Terry (percussionist, rhythm-dancer, and educator) have helped cultivate the thriving International Body Music scene, performing rhythm-based multi-cultural music and dance works, reconnecting Appalachian music with other African-Diaspora traditions in the music world. The San Francisco Chronicle named Keith Terry “a unique master of percussive motion” while also highlighting Evie Ladin as “a natural entertainer with a gift for infusing folk practices with contemporary verve”.

Keith Terry, Artistic Director of the International Body Music Festival (IBMF) and Evie Ladin, Executive Director of the IBMF, are artists whose work explores the intersection of music, dance and culture through the human instrument. 

Body Music, also known as body percussion or body drumming, is the oldest music on the planet. Before people were hollowing logs and slapping rocks, they were using their bodies to stomp, clap, sing, snap and grunt their musical ideas. There are many traditional Body Music’s in the world, from African-American Hambone and Flamenco Palmas to Sumatran Saman and Ethiopian Armpit music. This literal hands-on seminar will introduce you to the sonic exploration of the instrument we all share, with skilled performances by the duo, and discussion of how the human arts shift and change with the political landscape.

With the exception of Performing Arts events, the Forum Series is free of charge. Events take place at Fisher Memorial Chapel located on the Rockford University campus, 5050 East State Street, Rockford. Tickets are required and can be obtained by contacting the Box Office at 815-226-4100 or For a complete list of the 2019 Spring Forum Series events, visit Arts & Lectures/ Forum Series.