“There is, literally, no other dance celebration quite like it.”
—Amsterdam News
May 27—May 30, 2022
DanceAfrica Performance 2022: Homegrown
Dance | Music | Film | Community

Artistic Director Abdel R. Salaam

“This festival heals, pumps up, and moves one to tears.”
—Dance Enthusiast
DanceAfrica honors the spirit of the traditional and contemporary companies from its first decade, recognizing their achievements over the years and celebrating the artists who now carry the torch. The performance features five different guest companies from Brooklyn, Harlem, the Bronx, and Washington, DC, each offering a homegrown vision of traditional dances. They bring to the stage movement and musical styles from Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, and the Caribbean, supported by the Arkhestra Afrika, created by members of each company. Plus, the beloved BAM RestorationArt Dance Youth Ensemble marks their 25th anniversary and the DanceAfrica Spirit Walkers return! Now in its 45th year, DanceAfrica celebrates its bright future and its deep roots.

Each show will have an extended dance performance by the guest company:

Fri, May 27 - Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble
Sat, May 28 at 2pm - LaRocque Bey School of Dance
Sat, May 28 at 7pm - Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater
Sun, May 29 - Farafina Kan: The Sound of Africa
Mon, May 30 - Harambee Dance Company
Wed Mar 02
BAM Members & Patrons
Wed Mar 09
General Public


BAM Members receive 20% off through Apr 15. No promo code needed.

All performances will adhere to protocols developed in accordance with New York State regulations and in consultation with medical professionals for the safety of our artists, audiences, and staff 

May 2022
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4
Friday May 27, 2022
Performances no longer available.

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

Jerome L. Greene Foundation


Leadership support for programming in the Howard Gilman Opera House and off-site programs provided by:

Howard Gilman


Leadership support for dance at
BAM provided by:

Jerome L. Greene Foundation


Leadership support for dance at BAM provided by The SHS Foundation

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


Major Sponsor of Community Programming at BAM:



The Samuel H. Scripps BAM Scholarship Fund is made possible by The SHS Foundation


The Chuck Davis Emerging Choreographer Fellowship is made possible by The SHS Foundation

Performance Page
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 54-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.
Performance Page
Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater
Artistic Director Yao Ababio set out to establish a Brooklyn-based arts institution steeped in African philosophical values and authentic creative expressions, one that would play a critical role in bridging existing cultural gaps between Africa, the Caribbean, and the US. Under his leadership, the company has distinguished itself in the dance and drum world for its dynamic, high-energy performances and commitment to excellence and discipline.
Farafina Kan: The Sound of Africa
This professional West African percussion orchestra and dance troupe is dedicated to maintaining the history and integrity of traditional African music and dance. Under the tutelage of renowned artists like Mamady Keita, Famadou Konate, and Djimo Kouyate, the company seeks to sustain the work initiated by these legends through professionalism, artistry, continual learning, and proactive intergenerational transmission of African culture through music and movement. Founded in 2004 by Mahiri F. Keita, Farafina Kan: The Sound of Africa is now under the direction of Mahiri’s son, Agyei Keita, and nephew, Kweku Sumbry.
Performance Page
Harambee Dance Company
In Swahili, harambee means “let us pull together.” Harambee Dance Company pulls together the essence of African and African-American dance and music, presenting it from an innovative and exciting new contemporary perspective. Artistic Director and resident choreographer Sandella Malloy has developed a high-energy repertoire that draws on African-based movement, modern dance forms, live percussion, original music, and vibrant costumes to create captivating performances reflecting the majesty of the African diaspora.
Performance Page
Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble
The group’s mission is to educate and preserve through music and dance the Black aesthetic, from its beginning in Africa to the present day and beyond. They aim to instill traditional African cultural values while bridging the cultural gap between people of all backgrounds and generations. This unique company of “edutainers” has dazzled audiences throughout the US, performing challenging repertoires from West Africa, Central Africa, and Cuba.
Performance Page
LaRocque Bey School of Dance
Established by the late LaRocque Bey in the Harlem community in 1960, the LaRocque Bey School of Dance is the oldest African dance school in the US. Today, under the direction of Brother Jerome Hunter, the school continues to provide cultural enrichment and affordable dance, fitness, and drum classes to both economically disadvantaged and advantaged communities. It has taught well over 15,000 students and worked with artists including Duke Ellington, Otis Redding, Debbie Allen, George Clinton, Phylicia Rashad, Savion Glover, and more.
Performance Page
RestorationArt Dance Youth Ensemble
This DanceAfrica favorite returns to the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House for the 25th year. The ensemble serves as a symbol of youth involvement in the preservation of African heritage, celebrating both ancestral roots and the modern-day community.
Performance Page
DanceAfrica Spirit Walkers
The DanceAfrica Spirit Walkers were founded by Baba Abdel R. Salaam in 2016 to theatrically honor the ancestors of Africa and its diaspora through the annual DanceAfrica Memorial Tribute, originally developed by the late Baba Chuck Davis. The group comprises professional dance artists and musicians from the RestorationArt alumni and Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, melding African vernacular forms, modern, hip-hop, and contemporary dance.