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Face masks are highly recommended at BAM. We will continue to update our policies in adherence with the latest health and safety guidelines and protocols.
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About Our Programs



DanceAfrica celebrates the cultural vitality of Africa and its diaspora through dance, art, film, and an outdoor bazaar.

  Current Festival

DanceAfrica is BAM's longest running program and America's largest celebration of African and African-American dance, music, and culture. Created in 1977, under the artistic direction of Founding Elder Chuck Davis and with the aim of heightening awareness of African culture, the festival has evolved into a beloved annual Memorial Day weekend event that brings the entire community together. In 2015, the leadership baton was passed to Abdel R. Salaam.

Each year DanceAfrica welcomes a new visiting company from Africa or its diaspora at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. The performances include other traditional and contemporary dance companies, including the students of BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble, and live music. The weekend-long festival also includes master classes, community events, film screenings, an art exhibition, and the one-and-only DanceAfrica outdoor bazaar, a global marketplace of African, African-American, and Caribbean arts, crafts, and food featuring over 200 vendors and attracting up to 30,000 visitors per year.

DanceAfrica is part of the Winter/Spring Season.

Past Seasons
DanceAfrica 2020
DanceAfrica 2020
DanceAfrica 2020

This year, we celebrate DanceAfrica with a series of digital offerings, including online dance classes, streams of past performances, a virtual bazaar, and more.

Danceafrica Program
DanceAfrica Festival 2022

The beloved festival returns with a month of performances, classes, the bazaar, and more!

May 3—May 30, 2022
DanceAfrica Festival 2021

Celebrate Haiti at this vibrant virtual festival featuring dance, classes, films, and more.

May 4—Jun 14, 2021
DanceAfrica 2019 Performances

This year’s DanceAfrica performance offers a taste of the rich movement traditions of Rwanda.

May 24—May 27, 2019
Danceafrica 2018
DanceAfrica 2018 Performances

This year’s performance offers a taste of the rhythm and spirit of South Africa.

May 26—May 28, 2018
DanceAfrica 2017
DanceAfrica 2017

This year’s 40th anniversary celebration pays tribute to the music and movement traditions of Guinea.

May 26—May 29, 2017
DanceAfrica Festival 2016

The nation’s largest festival dedicated to African dance returns for its 39th year.

May 25—May 30, 2016
DanceAfrica 2015

The nation’s largest African dance festival returns, celebrating Afro-Brazilian dance.

May 16—May 25, 2015
DanceAfrica 2014

BAM’s annual festival of African dance welcomes Madagascar-based troupe Bakomanga.

May 17—May 26, 2014
DanceAfrica 2013

The nation’s largest African dance festival welcomes Umkhathi Theatre Works from Zimbabwe.

May 17—May 27, 2013
DanceAfrica 35 Years

DanceAfrica, a vibrant celebration of Africa and the diaspora, celebrates 35 years.

May 18—May 28, 2012