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Etienne Cakpo Announced as Kawasaki Guest Artist 2018-2019

Submitted by Lisa Kwak on October 19, 2018 - 2:12pm
Cakpo dancing on stage
Gansango Dance Company performing on stage
Gansango Dance Company
Etienne Cakpo
Etienne Cakpo
Gansango Dance Company
Gansango Dance Company

Kawasaki gift enters its second year of impact, welcoming award-winning West African director and choreographer to the UW

Thanks to a generous gift from Glenn Kawasaki, the Department of Dance is hosting a guest artist for the 2019-2019 school year- West African dancer, choreographer, and musician Etienne Cakpo. Cakpo is the second guest artist supported by the Kawasaki's forward-thinking gift aimed at exposing undergraduate dancers to top-tier local and international dance artists. Kawasaki is the chief executive officer and director of Accum BioSciences and a passionate advocate for the arts, specifically dance. 

During the autumn quarter, Cakpo is teaching a repertory/technique class to undergraduates in the Department of Dance. The class will culminate in the Department of Dance Faculty Dance Concert, January 25-26, 2019. In addition, Cakpo will do outreach in the community and across campus sharing his knowledge and passion for dance with diverse audiences. 

Cakpo is director and lead choreographer of Gansango Dance Company. He is an award-winning professional dancer, choreographer and musician from Benin, West Africa. he teaches and performs traditional African dance from Benin as well as contemporary African dance styles, and has been building his dance repertoire for over thirty years. Skilled in both traditional and modern dance styles, Cakpo lives to dance. He teaches African dance classes at Open Flight Studio in Seattle and performs locally, nationally, and internationally.

About Glenn Kawasaki: Kawasaki is a dedicated philanthropist and patron of the Arts. In May 2017, Arts Fund recognized him with its Outstanding Contribution to the Arts award. Kawasaki serves as an advisory board member of Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Zoe | Juniper, Khambatta Dance Company. He also serves as the board president of Velocity Dance Center from January 2017 to January 2018. He has a Ph.D., MBA, and J.D. from the University of Washington. 

Read full press release here