Mustapha Braimah

Assistant ProfessorDance

Mustapha Braimah brings a lifelong practice with over two decades of international experience and high artistic acclaim to his roles as an artist-scholar born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. He is a choreographer, educator, administrator, curator, musician, and performer. He holds an M.F.A, Dance Performance, and Choreography from the University of Maryland, College Park. He also graduated from Ohio University (OU) with an M.A in African Studies and B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a co-recipient of the International Program for Creative Collaboration & Research Grant. This project aimed to foster cross-cultural dialogue between students of The School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana and the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He collaborated through a series of workshops, where students discuss challenges within the current socio-political climate and devised a piece that was publicly performed for audience members at the University of Ghana and the University of Maryland respectively. Braimah’s art practice is deeply rooted in contemporary, popular, and traditional African dance forms as well as drumming and singing. He attended the American Dance Festival in 2010 with a stagecraft apprenticeship scholarship and worked with world-renowned companies and choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Pilobolus, Martha Graham, African-American Dance Ensemble, Eiko & Koma, etc. Prior to joining the dance faculty at Goucher College, he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of Dance Program at the University of North Carolina Asheville. His art practice and creativity are deeply rooted in contemporary, popular, and traditional forms. In addition to his teaching, Braimah tours annually with Azaguno Inc., an international touring group, which focuses on research, preservation, education, and performance of traditional African American, Caribbean and, Latin America music and dance and maintains a lifelong affiliation with the National Dance Company of Ghana where he has had his professional training. His research examines dance from an ethnographic perspective and an embodied practice of deconstructing “African Dance” as an aesthetic category. He delves deeper into sub-Saharan traditional African dance and Diasporic forms. Choreographically, he explores indigenous performance traditions, staged folkloric spectacles, and emergent contemporary forms rooted in sub-Saharan African, resulting in original works that challenge the notion of identity, linguistics, race, humanism, coloniality, and immigration.

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Publications

Braimah, M. “African Work Songs for Pounding Grain: 'Lazybones' and 'A Shared Husband I Do Not Want (Chichewa).'" In Global Humanities Reader: Ancient Worlds and Perspectives, edited by Brian Hook, Sophie Mills, Keya Maitra, and Katherine C. Zubko, 54-57. Asheville, NC: University of North Carolina Asheville Humanities Program, 2021 [distributed through UNC Press].

Braimah, M. “Song for Dance of Young Girls (Didinga).” In Global Humanities Reader: Ancient Worlds and Perspectives, edited by Brian Hook, Sophie Mills, Keya Maitra, and Katherine C. Zubko, 105-110. Asheville, NC: University of North Carolina Asheville Humanities Program, 2021 [distributed through UNC Press].

Braimah, M & Semwaza, F. “Islam, Poverty and the Media Portrayal of the North - South Divide in Ghana”: Islam and Muslim Societies: A Social Science Journal Vol., No.1 (2015)

Exhibits or Performances

Peace Ball, Dances of Resistance , National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC

Dance Africa, Dance Place ,Washington DC

NextNow Fest – The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, Maryland

Millenium Stage - Kennedy Performing Arts Center, Washington DC. 

Gauteng Dance Manyano, Amazintaba Resort, Johannesburg, South Africa

Pan-African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) – Burkina Faso

HEARD.AKRON by Nick Cave, Akron Art Museum and Summit Lake Community Center, Akron Ohio.

Ohio University World Music & Dance Concert, Templeton – Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, Athens Ohio

Mayor’s Office on African Affairs 10th Anniversary Celebration Lincoln Theater, Washington D.C

Dance Africa Dance Place, Washington D.C In collaboration: Soul in Motion Players

Ghana Dance Ensemble, Conferment of Honorary Degree to ExPresident of Mexico - Ernesto Zerdillo, The Great Hall, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra – Ghana

Azaguno and Ghana National Dance Company, AZA, National Theatre of Ghana, Accra - Ghana

Dance Immersion Showcase, Expression … Now, World Premier: Africa Meets Asia II, a 47 minutes choreographic work by Zelma Badu Younge, original music composed by Paschal Yao Younge, Enwave Theater, Habourfront Centre Toronto ON Canada

NOYAM African Institute for Launching of Vodafone Telecommunication Network, Kumasi, Ghana

Michael Jackson Peace Concert sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Songs Performed: Thriller, Smooth Criminal, Earth Song and Bad. Efua Sutherland Drama Studio, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra - Ghana

External Awards, Honors, Grants

International Program for Creative Collaboration and Research

Celebrating Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement

Invited Talks

National Center for Choreography, University of Akron

Dance Department, Eastern Carolina University

Dance Department, Oberlin College

Cleveland School of the Arts

Department of Black Studies Program, Cleveland State University

Master Classes at ACDA Conference including, Ohio University, West Virginia University, University of Maryland College Park

OhioDance Festival

Dance Studies Department Retreat, University of Ghana

Academic or Professional Associations

Collegium of African Diaspora Dance 

World Dance Alliance Americas 

Azaguno Inc. 

American College Dance Association

Council of Ewe Association of North America

Dancers Without Borders

Ghana National Dance Company

Noyam African Dance Institute