Dancing in the Key of Life

Dancing in the Key of Life
An Exhibit of Dance Photographs, Collages and Shadow Boxes
August 2 through September 26, 2012

Taken from Mussa’s extensive collection of photographs of over one hundred dance companies from around the world this solo exhibit celebrates the spirit of dance, captured on film and JPEG, and transformed collages, and shadow boxes.

Included in the exhibit is “Evidence of Evolution”, a series of nine by nine inch shadow boxes which contain photographs, objects of art, fabric, and found objects. As a visual artist Mussa had become intrigued by the prospect of removing photographs from the flat, one dimensional surface of photographic paper by creating frozen three dimensional tableaus with dancers in challenging and unlikely environments. The series has been the focus of his collage work for the past ten years.

Over the course of twenty-eight years Mussa performed on concert stages with a number of West African dance companies including the legendary International Afrikaan-American Ballet. He also taught dance for the Alvin Ailey Arts in Education Program, the Dance Theater of Harlem, Jersey City State Collage, and Arts Horizons.

“Art and photography always seemed very natural to me, but dance changed my life because it required a level of physical and mental training that became a catalyst in my overall development as an artist. Dancers are the athletes of the arts and the most talented of all artists,” states Mussa. “My career as a concert dancer allowed me to become a dance instructor, musician, singer, set, lighting and costume designer, and administrator.”

 Dancing in the Key of Life – Collage

The life-long artist is a native of Newark and a resident of West Orange. He has worked professionally as a photographer, concert dancer, percussionist, graphic designer, fabric artist, writer, and installation artist. In addition to his work as a visual and performing artist, he has been an arts educator for the Newark Museum, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark, Arts Horizons, Arts Unbound, the Alvin Ailey Arts in Education Program and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. He is a graduate of New Jersey City University, and studied visual art with Ben Jones, traditional African dance with Rhonda C. Morman, and photography with the late Tim Reiss.

You can contact him at mansamussa@verizon.net

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