By Vickie Thomas
For the last two years, Detroit native Aku Kadogo has taught at a university in South Korea. She has been a resident of Australia since 1978. The theater director, choreographer, performer and educator is now back home working with Kresge Foundation Eminent Artist Bill Harris for Art X Detroit 2013.
During a recent rehearsal of her stage performance based on Harris’ book, Booker T. and Them, I had a chance to chat with her about her project and her pride in the MotorCity.
“We agreed to work together so I took his book – he calls it a blues bio – and I’ve taken some excerpts and I’m bringing it to life,” said Kadogo.
The performers take the stage Thursday night at the Charles Wright Museum of African-American History.
As far as the state of her hometown with its fiscal and crime problems, Kadogo said, “You know Dorothy, there’s no place like home. I actually think Detroit is one of the most interesting cities in the world right now.”
“People have rolled up their sleeves here. People are putting their hands in dirt. People are making art. People are making things happen with what ever little bit or how ever much they’ve got and they are fighting to break these walls down,” she said.
She considers herself as an ambassador for Detroit. She once even arranged a quick trip to the city for a friend in South Korea. “She was so enamored with Michael Jackson that she had to see the Motown Museum, so I hooked her up. I had someone meet her at the airport who could speak a little bit of Korean. She stayed at the Inn on Ferry. She went to the Motown Museum and then he drove her back to the airport. She loved it”
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To learn more about Art X Detroit events which run through Sunday visit, artxdetroit.com.