(Click link for full bio) Deja Stowers began dancing at the age of four with the drill team African Perfection. As she continued to dance throughout junior high she took particular interest in West African dance. Early on she was welcomed with open arms into Voice of Culture Drum and Dance (VoC) by founder Kenna Cottman. Even though trained by masters of the West African dance tradition, Deja found that she was not always accepted by the professional dance world because of her bodacious size and direct, unapologetic demeanor. She struggled to find a home outside of VoC.
But on January 1, 2016 Deja leaned away from restrictive notions of dance and dancers and leaned hard into her calling. It was then she founded the new dance company, BLAQ. Through her choreography and artistic direction, BLAQ is shaped to embody the various truths of the Black experience. Using her foundation in traditional West African dance to channel her vision, she pushes members of BLAQ to be themselves at all times. BLAQ does not “perform” for audiences, but rather invites audiences to witness or “observe” the process. When BLAQ takes the stage it is as an observance - living life on stage and allowing others to witness.
Deja is elated to choreograph a solo for Controlled Burn. She cannot wait to observe Lindsey live one of her many rites of passage on October 7th.