Habib Iddrisu is a traditional trained dancer, musician, and oral historian from Northern Ghana, born into the Bizing family of court historians/musicians of the Dagbamba people. Dr. Iddrisu currently serves as an Asssociate Professor of Dance and Ethnomusicology at the University of Oregon and is the founder, director, and choreographer of the Dema African Ensemble, and coeditor of “Africa Everyday: Fun, Leisure, and Expressive Culture on the Continent.
At an early age, Dr. Iddrisu studied traditional music and dance as well as many other genres across Ghana, West Africa, and other areas in the sub-Saharan region. The wealth of expressive styles that he encountered sparked his interest in sharing and teaching these materials to as broad and an audience as possible. Soon, he was coaching in Ghana’s largest cities, especially Accra, where he taught and performed with some of the city’s finest cultural groups and professional groups at the University of Ghana, Legon. He was sought after to choreograph such events as the welcoming ceremony for President Clinton’s visit to Ghana in 1998. He was honored with Ghana’s Best Dancer award, given by the Entertainment/Art Critics & Reviewers Association in 1993, and has toured the world extensively with traditional performing groups.
Dr. Iddrisu has diverse experience as a performer, teacher, choreographer, costume designer, and scholar throughout the U.S. One of Dr. Iddrisu’s performance and research foundations uses the concept of “total performance experience.” Thus, the combination of dance, music, theatre, and storytelling, with the intent to educate, probe, teach, learn, and entertain.
Extended bio can be found on the UO’s School of Music and Dance website: https://musicanddance.uoregon.edu/directory/dance/all/hiddrisu