M.F.A. in Choreographic Inquiry
Artistically known as “KHILA,” Aquilah Ohemeng currently resides in Los Angeles, CA as an emerging entrepreneur, movement architect, and educator. The Philadelphia native has trained at Philadanco’s Youth Ensemble and has studied under renowned artists including Rennie Harris, Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M Dance Company, members of Koresh Dance Company and Phresh Select (from “America’s Best Dance Crew” Season 1) and more. Her movement aesthetic fuses her formal training in Ballet, Hip-Hop and Contemporary, to name a few, with improvisational exploration to produce versatile, interdisciplinary art. Ohemeng’s various choreographic works have been selected, featured, and/or commissioned within exhibitions ranging from Colby College’s Museum of Art in conjunction with the Zanele Muholi: Sonymama Namayama, Hail the Dark Lioness exhibition to Spelman College’s Forty Years of Black Feminist Fire celebration and most recently, UCLA’s 2022 International New Wight Biennial. In addition to having taught dance technique and theory at prominent institutions such as Syracuse University (formerly as adjunct faculty), Spelman College, and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, she has mentored and worked with Philadelphia and Metro-Atlanta youth. Founder of KHILA LLC, Ohemeng continues to work bicoastally as a multidimensional artist, who professionally dances, choreographs, and directs for both on and off-screen projects. Learn more about her here.
Areas of Interest
Her research methods are based in archival and embodied memory movement research while exploring themes of identity, intersectionality, modes of resistance, and restorative healing. Ohemeng critically approaches scholarly work and choreographic processes utilizing an experiential and multicultural lens rooted in the African Diaspora and its movement aesthetics, Black Studies, Womanist theory, and social justice. Consequently, her research interests led her to collaboratively explore Georgia’s history of incarceration and convict labor through a first of its kind cross-institutional endeavor between Spelman College, the University of Georgia, and other collaborators who developed a devised performance utilizing archival research (material and embodied). Additionally, her interdisciplinary short film, “The Flowers that Grew from Our Tears,” that explored themes such as Black Womanhood, transgenerational trauma, and reclamation/redefinition of caricatures has received acclaim within the arts community for being “thought provoking” and “transformative.”
Ohemeng received her formal dance education from Spelman College, where she earned a B.A. degree in Dance Performance & Choreography, while minoring in Spanish. Graduating Summa Cum Laude with departmental honors, the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society inductee is excited to continue her graduate studies within UCLA’s WAC/D program!