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Virtual | Dance

DanceAfrica Performance 2021

 
VIRTUAL
 
May 29—Jun 14, 2021
 
 
LOCATION:

VIRTUAL

Pay what you wish: $10; $25; $44

Please note: The viewing experience is the same at each price level; select the amount that makes the most sense for you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Saturday May 29, 2021
Performances no longer available.
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Vwa zanset yo: y’ap pale, n’ap danse!
(Ancestral voices: they speak... we dance!)

By Artistic Director Abdel R. Salaam

“Out of the darkness of this pandemic we see a brilliant new digital platform that enables us to present our annual celebration through the magic of film! The future and spirit of DanceAfrica, in person or virtual, lives within audiences and communities of the world.”
—Artistic Director Baba Abdel R. Salaam

The nation’s largest festival of African dance pays homage to the ancestral energy of Haiti with the theme Vwa zanset yo: y’ap pale, n’ap danse!, in Haitian Creole, or “Ancestral voices: they speak… we dance!” This virtual program of dance premieres draws inspiration from the lwa, spirits of Haitian Vodou, and brings together a community from near and far. DanceAfrica Artistic Director Baba Abdel R. Salaam commissioned pieces by HaitiDansco in Cap Haitien, Haiti, Rara Tou Lim Haitian Dance Company in Oakland, Àṣẹ Dance Theatre Collective in Brooklyn, and The Fritzation Experience in Brooklyn. Including a virtual Libation ceremony and Procession of the Council of Elders that crosses the country, this unprecedented DanceAfrica performance stretches from coast to coast to coast.


Closed captioning will be available when the performance is watched on-demand starting on May 30 at Noon ET. For access to a text transcript during the Livestream of the performance on May 29, click here.

A recorded version of the performance will be madeavailable starting May 30 at Noon ET through Jun 14.

Leadership support for off-site programs provided by:

Support for the signature artist series provided by Howard Gilman Foundation

 

Leadership support for BAM Access Programs provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation

Jerome L. Greene Foundation

 

Leadership support for dance at BAM provided by:

Major Sponsor:

ConEdison

 

Major Sponsor:

ConEdison

 

Leadership support for dance at BAM provided by The SHS Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

 

Leadership support for the BAM Hamm Archives and BAM Film, Community, and Education programs provided by The Thompson Family Foundation

 
 
BIOS
 
BIO
Abdel R. Salaam

Abdel R. Salaam is the Artistic Director of DanceAfrica; the Executive Artistic Director/Co-Founder of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, founded in 1981; and a critically acclaimed choreographer. Born in Harlem, he has served as a dancer, teacher, and performing artist in five continents throughout his 51-year career in the dance and theater worlds. He has received numerous awards and fellowships for excellence in dance and dance-theater and continues to dedicate his life’s work to the healing and empowerment of us all.



 
DanceAfrica
 
BIO
Àṣẹ Dance Theatre Collective

Named for the Yoruba word that describes every living being’s power to make things happen, Àṣẹ Dance Theatre Collective is a neo-folkloric performance ensemble specializing in traditional and contemporary dance and music theater from the African diaspora. Under the artistic direction of choreographer Adia Tamar Whitaker, the Brooklyn-based ensemble links dance theater to the human experience.



 
HaitiDansCo
 
BIO
HaitiDansco

Cap Haitien, Haiti-based dance company HaitiDansco was founded in 2004 in New York City by choreographer Dieufel Lamisere, who returned to his native country following its catastrophic earthquake in 2010. Lamisere sought out to inspire the youth of Haiti and create opportunities for learning and performing. HaitiDansco fuses traditional Haitian dance with elements of classical ballet, modern, and jazz. It is one of the few consistently touring professional dance companies in the country and performs an extraordinary repertoire representative of Haitian culture.



 
DanceAfrica
 
BIO
Rara Tou Limen

Bay Area-based troupe Rara Tou Limen performs a spectrum of diverse Haitian dance forms, from vibrant rituals of Vodou to the turbulent legacy of political struggle to the festive dances of Carnival. Established in 2004 by Artistic Director Portsha T. Jefferson, RTL combines traditional rhythms, chants, and movement with the grace and strength of Haitian folkloric dance and music, which carry the stories, struggles, and spirit of the first free Black Republic in the world. The company aims to educate audiences about the richness of Haitian culture through artistic expression, while building relationships with other Haitian cultural groups in the US and Haiti.



 
DanceAfrica
 
BIO
The Fritzation Experience

Brooklyn-based company The Fritzation Experience coalesces artistry that includes Haitian folklore, urban social dances, African dance forms, body percussion, spoken word, sign language, and visual arts to express human experiences, cultural exchange, and community empowerment. The diverse, interdisciplinary troupe was founded by Haitian-raised, African-descended, Brooklyn-born choreographer Fritzlyn “Fritz” Hector, who is also an educator, a principal dancer for Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, and a veteran cast member and cast trainer of the off-Broadway show STOMP.



 
 
BIO
BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble

This DanceAfrica favorite returns for the 23rd year. The BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble serves as a symbol of youth involvement in the preservation of African heritage, celebrating both ancestral roots and the modern-day community.



 
Spirit Walkers
 
BIO
DanceAfrica Spirit Walkers

The DanceAfrica Spirit Walkers were founded by Baba Abdel Salaam in 2016 to theatrically honor the ancestors of Africa and its diaspora at the annual DanceAfrica Memorial Tribute, originally developed by the late Baba Chuck Davis. The group comprises professional dance artists and musicians from the Restoration Arts Alumni, Asase Yaa, Harambee, and Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, melding contemporary, hip-hop, modern, and African vernacular forms.



 
RELATED EVENTS
DanceAfrica Bazaar
PROGRAMS
DanceAfrica Bazaar 2021
 
DanceAfrica Bazaar 2021
 
The DanceAfrica Bazaar goes digital, spotlighting independent Black-owned businesses in a vibrant online marketplace.
MORE
 
 
BAM DanceAfrica Merchandise

Purchase your official BAM DanceAfrica 2021 T-shirt through our official retail partner, Greenlight Bookstore.

Receive a DanceAfrica 2021 Festival poster with every purchase



MORE
 
Virtual
DanceAfrica 2021 Choreographers’ Conversation
May 19—Jun 14, 2021
 
DanceAfrica 2021 Choreographers’ Conversation
May 19—Jun 14, 2021
VIRTUAL
 

DanceAfrica Artistic Director Abdel R. Salaam is joined by a panel of choreographers for a conversation about how traditional Haitian forms are translated and interpreted into contemporary performance.

MORE
 
Danceafrica Family Class
Outdoors
DanceAfrica Community Workshop
Sat, May 29, 2021
 
DanceAfrica Community Workshop
Sat, May 29, 2021
 
 
Canceled

Caregivers and children of all ages deepen their engagement with DanceAfrica in this fun-filled, hands-on workshop exploring the fundamentals of Haitian movement and music, presented in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

MORE
 
Free
Master Class
Virtual
DanceAfrica Master Class
Mon, May 31, 2021
 
DanceAfrica Master Class
Mon, May 31, 2021
VIRTUAL
 

Join veteran traditional Haitian dancer and teaching artist Nadia Dieudonné for this immersive workshop on the music and dance of Haiti—available in person and online—for intermediate and advanced dancers.

MORE
 
Toussaint
FILM SERIES
FilmAfrica
May 28—Jun 3, 2021
 
FilmAfrica
May 28—Jun 3, 2021
 

The best new narrative, documentary, and short films from across Africa and the diaspora, with a special focus on films from and about Haiti.

MORE
 
Adult Adaptive Class
Virtual
DanceAfrica Adaptive Workshop
Mon, May 31, 2021
 
DanceAfrica Adaptive Workshop
Mon, May 31, 2021
VIRTUAL
 

Specifically designed for persons with disabilities, this inclusive, interactive class—available in person and online—explores how African and diasporic dance forms celebrate community.

MORE
 
Bantaba
Virtual DanceAfrica 2021 Bantaba Submission
Apr 24—May 14, 2021
 
Virtual DanceAfrica 2021 Bantaba Submission
Apr 24—May 14, 2021
 

Calling dancers of all ages and folks who love to move! Participate in this year’s virtual DanceAfrica Community Day Bantaba by submitting a video of you and your community dancing.

MORE
 
Dance Party
Virtual
DanceAfrica Dance Party
Sat, May 29, 2021
 
DanceAfrica Dance Party
Sat, May 29, 2021
VIRTUAL
 

Join us for a live, virtual dance party featuring the Afrobeat, funk, soul, rock, jazz, and hip-hop stylings of DanceAfrica DJ Hard Hittin Harry.

MORE
 
Free
A Return: Liberation as Power
Outdoors
A Return: Liberation as Power
May 24—May 31, 2021
 
A Return: Liberation as Power
May 24—May 31, 2021
OUTDOORS
 

Haitian visual artists offer a meditation on liberation in this new public installation on the BAM sign, presented as part of DanceAfrica 2021.

MORE
 
Free
Virtual
Haiti In Full Scope: DanceAfrica 2021 Teen Event
Fri, May 28, 2021
 
Haiti In Full Scope: DanceAfrica 2021 Teen Event
Fri, May 28, 2021
VIRTUAL
 

Teens grades 9—12 are invited to participate in an engaging virtual exploration of Haitian history, art, and culture hosted by BAM’s very own Brooklyn Interns for Art and Culture.

MORE
 
Free
Virtual
DanceAfrica Community Celebration Day
May 30—Jun 6, 2021
 
DanceAfrica Community Celebration Day
May 30—Jun 6, 2021
VIRTUAL
 

Catch the premiere of the first ever Community Day Bantaba—featuring videos submitted by community members near and far—and join the celebration by adding your own picture to the virtual photo booth.

MORE
 
Free
Timeline Archives
 
DanceAfrica Timeline

Peruse this featured collection put together by the BAM Hamm Archives, chronicling the vibrant history of DanceAfrica. This rich, comprehensive collection of materials features video, hundreds of photographs, programs, posters, and other materials that tell the story of this extraordinary annual gathering.



MORE
 
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