About Ama

Dr. S. Ama Wray, Associate Professor of dance at the University of California, Irvine, received her PhD from the University of Surrey in 2016. Within the realm of contemporary dance she danced with flagship dance companies in the UK – London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Rambert Dance Company. As founding Artistic Director of JazzXchange her collaborator include: Wynton Marsalis, Gary Grosby, Bobby McFerrin, Julian Joseph and Zoe Rahman. For 2018 she is the Interdisciplinary Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Master-Artist-in-Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida. Expanding from her dance base, she directs and choreographs the work of playwright and actor Mojisola Adebayo and co-creates Texterritory performances with Fleeta Siegel, which stimulate audience participation through technology during performance; with zeal she continues to be the sole custodian of Jane Dudley’s timeless solo Harmonica Breakdown, created in 1938. Her scholarly praxis led her to develop Embodiology® – a neo-African improvisation methodology that is integral to her teaching, artistic practice and interdisciplinary scholarship.