Photo of Malik dancing in Who We Carry
Photo: Jingzi Zhao


Laurels for three film festival screenings

Who We Carry

Film premier presented by Cascade Festival of African Films & Portland Institute of Contemporary Art on October 10, 2021.

Who We Carry, is a three part journey of ancestral roots in the Ring Shout traditions of the Gullah Geechee, Yoruba Orishas in the African Diaspora, and lands in the Pacific Northwest. Who We Carry transforms grief and loss during the COVID pandemic into an opportunity to reclaim our power.  With labor, gratitude, love and power we become our intimate visions for the future. Co-produced by Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater and Portland Playhouse, and an Elijah Hasan Film.

Funding and support from the Collins Foundation, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Regional Arts and Culture Council, and Ronni LaCroute.

Poster for 'At the Dinner Table' film premiere

At the Dinner Table

Short film premiered in January 2021.

We are done asking for a seat at the table, we are building our own. We acknowledge the ancestors that helped pave the way, the lives lost which sparked movements, and the mess that meets us at the door. Using an Afro-futuristic perspective, we want to know how you will show up, what you will give, and if we will ever sit down together.


Premiered Feb. 2020 at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

For us in the Black community, we’ve always been told “stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.” Ready as in ready for the discrimination, ready for the prejudice, ready for the racism. Well… we are ready, we’ve been ready and now its time to galvanize. Been Ready brings together our five personal experiences navigating conflicts that are inherently imbued with layers of race, gender and bias.  With an inward focus we find what makes us ready.

Choreographic works by: Michael Galen, Bethany Harvey, Jamie Minkus, Decimus Yarbrough, and Oluyinka AkinjiolaLighting and set design: Maggie HeathMusic composed by Cody 'Coflo' Ferreira​​Funding and support from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition and Ronni LaCroute.

A MidSummer Night at the Savoy

Rejoice! brings the energy of Harlem to Portland by examining spaces that allowed African American arts to flourish and marinade in US history. In collaboration with our dancers, four choreographers and our community ensemble program, we bring life to Shakespeare’s A Midnight Summer Night’s Dream as a poetic through line, incorporating a recreated set of the Savoy Ballroom. This was the first integrated ballroom in the country and an artistic incubator in Harlem.  Come experience our take on Shakespeare, and the contributions of artists of color throughout history.

Premiered November 2018 at Portland Playhouse, Portland, OR. Choreography by Oluyinka Akinjiola, Jamie Minkus, Michael Galen, Decimus Yarbrough, Bethany Harvey​. Funding and support from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition and Ronni LaCroute.


Premiered Oct. 2017 at Reed College, Portland, OR

UPRISE features a body of choreographic works addressing power, oppression, and community. Inspired by Angela Davis’ desire to see liberation movements become intersectional, we are bringing expression to the many ways race, class, culture, and history influence power. Funding and support from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the Oregon Arts Commission.

Photo of the community ensemble on stage with the Rejoice company dancers

IBUKUN / The Celebration

Premiered Januaray 2017 at New Expressive Works, Portland, OR

The work is inspired by Oluyinka's trip to Nigeria, the passing of her grandmother, and experiencing funeral celebrations in Nigeria. Oluyinka’s artistic investigation of contemporary dance and African Folklore explores the presence of traditional Yoruba culture in a fast changing society in Nigeria. Surrounded by a spiraling recession and government corruption, Ibukun/The Celebration is a dedication to female leadership, maintenance of familial bonds and cultural preservation.

Choreographic work by Oluyinka Akinjiola.
Musical guests: Nojeem Lasisi (Jujuba), Rudy Slizewski (TapWater & Scott Pemberton Band), and Jeff Burres

Poster for the Rejoice show 'Alegria'


Premiered June 2017 at Portland Playhouse, Portland, OR

A celebration of life, triumph and humanity imbued with Brazilian music.  ALEGRIA! continues with the Rejoice! tradition by fusing the joyful expressions of folklore, Brazilian, Caribbean, and contemporary dance to form "contemporary folklore."

Choreographic works by Oluyinka Akinjiola, Uriah Boyd, Dar Vejon Jones, Jamie Minkus and Andrea Whittle. Lighting Design: Robin Greenwood
Musical guests: Andy Sterling, Rudy Slizewski, Hans Barklis
A collaboration with BCC: Brown Hall with funding from the Regional Arts and Culture Council

Poster for the show 'Ancestry in Motion'

Ancestry in Motion

Premiered June 2016 at Headwaters Theater, Portland, OR

​Choreographic works by Oluyinka Akinjiola, Dar Vejon Jones, Jamie Minkus, and Michael Galen.
Lighting Design: Robin Greenwood
Featured guests: Rudy Slizewksi, Okaidja Afroso


Premiered June 2015 at Performance Works NW, Portland, OR

Includes the following works: Onward; Phenomenally; Been Restless; Sentiments of Ogun; Oshun, Xica, and the Sambista