Dr. Seónagh Odhiambo
Assistant Professor of Dance
Founding Artistic Director, Asava Dance Company
Graduate Advisor, MA in Theatre Arts
Dr. Seónagh Odhiambo (M.A., Ph.D.) joined the CSULA faculty in Fall 2009. She defines dance as a point of contact through which ideas, inspiration, movement, and meaning travel. Both artist and scholar, Dr. Odhiambo examines theories of the body and creativity through dance processes.
Dr. Odhiambo teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the roles of dance and theatre in society and history, promoting intercultural inquiry and communication, and the arts of creating, performing, and disseminating original dances and artistic and scholarly work. She is active in developing arts-in-education partnerships, intercultural and interdisciplinary exchanges, and arts-based research and performance. She works in partnership with Plaza de la Raza and Los Angeles schools, including students and communities underserved in dance and aesthetic education. She provides advanced students at CSULA with opportunities to teach school aged children, and to perform their dance works in Los Angeles venues.
Interested in movement invention and communication through the body, Dr. Odhiambo founded Asava Dance Company where her choreography brings together modern dance techniques, African influences, and pedestrian gestures with live music. Asava Dance's Music Director Bennie Maupin, a legendary woodwind instrumentalist and composer, premieres and performs his original music with the company. The ensemble tours internationally, giving performances, workshops and educational lectures in North America, Europe and beyond. Most recently Dr. Odhiambo conducted an Artist Residency in Sevilla, Spain (December 2013) where the focus was on the Spanish economic crisis. Dr. Odhiambo involves audiences in the creative process with the aid of Boalian theatre techniques, and her unique choreography exercises investigate a magical, meaningful process of creative development. Topics about social and environmental justice inform the dancers’ movements and gestures, and this means of exploring in workshop format connects the movement creation to Dr. Odhiambo’s scholarly research. Therein, she offers a perspective on the body as a zone of critical praxis. Dr. Odhiambo's research lays a foundation for somatically-oriented critical pedagogy. Her theoretical reflections radically expand the areas of dance theory, dance education and curriculum theory.