Last Will and Testament

African Dance Residency with Jeannine Osayande & Dunya Performing Arts Company

This work is inspired by my vision, to radiate joy and seek out collaborative experiences that manifest beauty; and my mission, to add value to my environment and community through arts, culture and social change.

Based on Dr. Bethune’s Last Will and Testament (LWT), the UCDC African Ensemble examined and evaluated Dr. Bethune’s profound legacy document.

I selected this work to create an opportunity for students to think about the life they live. The Adinkra Symbol, Owuo Atwedee, ”the ladder of death” is a symbol of mortality, a reminder of the transitory nature of existence in this world and of the imperative to live a good life.

Through Diasporic West African dance and drum traditions, students collaborated with Ms. Jeannine and Mr. Ira to create an African contemporary choreo-poem based on the ensembles’ individual and collective legacy reflections. Originally, the dance featured, solos, duets, trios and full ensemble work. Due to the pandemic, we had our last face to face rehearsal the first week of March. Through synchronous and asynchronous learning, the ensemble worked with rhythmic time signatures, developed their skills in dance critique of themselves and company members, and continued to work on their choreo-poem as a LWT work in progress. Next year we look forward to continuing our LWT choreography.

Choreographer: Jeannine Osayande in collaboration with the students
4/4 over 6/8 Musical Arrangements: Ira Bond, Jeannine Osayande and Daryl Kwasi Burgee


Zainab Jacqlyn Henigan Kevin Harris
Jeneice butts Center Last Will and Testaments Christine Innis
Justine Keila Brewer Cynthia Ercole
Meet the Drummers Last will and testament
drummers Bethune




Musical Arrangements

African Fabric

Kiela Brewer

Jeniece Butts

Justine Cinalli

Cyn Ercole

Kevin Harris II

Jacqlyn Henigan

Chrissy Innes

Zainab Williams


Ira L. Bond

Daryl Kwasi Burgee

Steven Jackson Sr. (vocalist)

Jeannine Osayande






Ira L. Bond

Daryl Kwasi Burgee

Jeannine Osayande


Omi Agua Song:

Steven Jackson Sr. (vocalist)




Fati Lafia Fabrics

(Philadelphia, PA)