Dancer, writer, spiritual counselor, filmmaker, Novuyo Masakhane, born in Denver Colorado and raised in Southern California – has worked as a professional artist for over 20 years. Novuyo was raised in the African American sacred and secular dance traditions and began performing at the age of three. Her study and work are focused on understanding the realm of trance possession through dance/movement as it shows up in indigenous spiritual systems. “Dance is my God speak, a prayer in movement.”
Her style is eclectic, including Afro-Haitian, Afro-Cuban, Congolese, modern, Dances of the Orisha. Her teachers: Margaruite Baker, Linda Trego, Master Katherine Dunham, Joe Bunton Keel, Master Malonga Cascalord, Chuck Davis, Kelly Marie Berry, Jawole Zollar, Pat Hall Smith and Colette El Wah, to name a few.
Masakahne attended Sonoma State University in Northern California for Dance Theatre, Naropa University of Boulder for Dance Therapy and Filmmaking at the American Film Institute of Los Angeles CA. In 1990 Novuyo co-founded the Moyo Nguvu Cultural Arts Center, in Denver, Colorado, where she served as the artistic director, choreographer and teacher for eight years. Within those eight years she also co- authored and produced the “Moyo Rites of Passage” program which served over 500 youth within Colorado and became a nationally recognized program.
Masakhane has taught as a guest artist and guest professor for several institutions of higher learning including but not limited to: Naropa University, Colorado University at Boulder, Denver Center for the performing Arts, Denver Iliff School of Theology, Delta College of Northern CA, Simons Rock College of Massachusetts, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater, the Colorado Dance Festival, the Dance Collective- Los Angeles CA, and Saint Lucks Hospital Midwifery program in Denver CO.
Novuyo says she is a weaver of many gifts, each one supporting the other. She made her directorial debut in 1997 with her film entitled Crossroads. Novuyo co- wrote, co produced and directed this short film for the prestigious American Film Institute’s “Directing Workshop for Women 11 cycle. Masakhane is the producer of String of Pearls Creative Writing Salon which host classes, workshops and reading events for writers in the Austin Texas area. She is currently working on a novel entitled “House of Jewels “as well as a project; “In Search of my Father” chronicling the history of her East Texas ancestry. Her work appears in Milvia Street Art and Literary Journal 2009, 2010. Novuyo is the proud mama of three beautiful sons and lives in Austin Texas.