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Aquilah Ohemeng Amplifies Black Womanhood in her Creative Work

June 2021

Spelman Dance Performance and Choreography Major Aquilah Ohemeng Aquilah Ohemeng, C'2021, artistically known as “KHILA,” is an emerging multidimensional artist with a creative background that expands beyond movement into other disciplines such as vocal performance, musicianship, creative direction and more.

The Philadelphia native studied as a student member of Philadanco! children’s dance school, at Koresh School of Dance, and has trained under countless artists over the years. During her time at Spelman, Ohemeng served as a three-year Spelman Dance Theatre veteran, an AUC Agency choreographer, and became a member of Delta Phi Delta Dance Fraternity Inc.

Additionally, she served as a student assistant choreographer for the Georgia Incarceration Performance Project, “a cross-institutional endeavor - the first of its kind - between Spelman College, the University of Georgia, librarians, archivists, students, professional artists, incarcerated collaborators, and community partners who worked together to develop a devised performance out of archival research (material and embodied) on the history of incarceration and convict labor in Georgia,” (GAIPP).

Examining Black Women's Anguish and Resilience

During Spelman College's 2021 Research Day Across the Academic Year presentations, Ohemeng  presented and discussed her work, "Diamante," the first installation of an interdisciplinary work highlighting the complex narrative of Black womanhood and the transformation into becoming our greatest selves, much like how a diamond is formed. In the provocative work, she invites viewers to witness Black women's anguish, resilience, and reclamation of their voice in existence in our society.


Serving Her Community One Dancer at a Time

Spelman Scholar and Dancer Aquilah Ohemeng Serves CommunityOhemeng was also a Spelman College Class of 2021 Bonner Scholar and through the program worked with youth at SLAM Academy of Atlanta, KIPP Strive Academy, and First Presbyterian Church of Germantown Freedom School as a dance instructor and educator.

As an entrepreneurial movement artist, she recently established KHILA LLC which specializes in creative direction and choreography by using an interdisciplinary lens of various artistic mediums that juxtaposes the status quo and exceeds limits of what is deemed impossible. Ohemeng's choreographies have been featured in many places including Maine, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.

On May 16, 2021, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Performance and Choreography with a minor degree in Spanish from Spelman. Graduating Summa Cum Laude with departmental honors, her other honorary accolades include: Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, NSCS, Golden Key International Honor Society, Dean’s List (All four years), and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. 

Addressing Complex Issues in "The Flower That Grew From Our Tears"

In honor of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, Ohemeng will host a special screening for the work she showcased during her senior capstone project at Spelman, “The Flowers that Grew from Our Tears.”

Spelman's Aquilah Ohemeng Presents Flowers That Grew From Our Tears

The short film is an experimental work that examines and confronts transgenerational identity/trauma of Black women following the African Diaspora. It questions the possibility to overcome stigmas and redefine the perception of ourselves. It is a visually engaging investigation that utilizes dance, fashion, visual arts, instrumentation, and more to unfold a troubling and distorted narrative of struggle, hurt, and freedom. One will witness Black women’s anguish, resilience, and reclamation of their voice and existence in our society.

Ohemeng is quickly becoming a master at highlighting the complex narrative of Black womanhood in her research and choreographic work. To stay up to date with her work and progress, follow Ohemeng on instagram @aokhila. Additionally, on June 5-6 and 12-13, 2021 an excerpt of her film will be featured at HomeTraining: An Experiential Gallery Show  located at HL Green Building, 97 Peachtree St SW, Atlanta 30303.

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