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"Fusing gospel music with tap, stepping and georgeous gumboot dancing - this movement as a communal celebration"
What Makes Step Afrika! Unique
The Company blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance and influences from a variety of other dance and art forms. Performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor, and audience participation. The blend of technique, agility, and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding.
Step Afrika! promotes stepping as an educational tool for young people, focusing on teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding. It reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year through a 50-city tour of colleges and theatres and performs globally as a cultural ambassador.
Step Afrika! holds workshops, residency programs and a variety of arts education activities for K-12 and college students in its home of Washington, DC and in cities around the world.
Emanuel Chacon |Deatrice Clark|Matthew Evans|Kiera Harley|Jabari Jones
|Conrad Kelly|Vincent Montgomery|Joe Murchison| Ronnique Murray | Olabode “Buddie” Oladeinde | Anesia Sandifer | Brittny Smith | Jordan Spry | Ta’Quez Whitted | Jerel L. Williams
STEP AFRIKA! Artistic Director: Mfoniso Akpan
DANCING THE ROOTS
Step Afrika! pays homage to the African American step show, introduces audiences to Zulu and South African Gumboot Dance, shares the step tradition of audience participation and closes with a complex, polyrhythmic percussive symphony that brings audiences to their feet.
What is Stepping?
Stepping is a rising art form and an important part of America’s artistic and cultural heritage. In stepping, the body is used as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and the spoken word.
Origin of Stepping
Stepping is based on a long and rich tradition in African-based communities that use movement, words and sounds to communicate allegiance to a group. It draws movements from African foot dances, such as Gumboot, originally conceived by miners in South Africa as an alternative to drumming, which was banned by authorities.
The stepping tradition in the United States grew out of song and dance rituals practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, beginning in the early 1900s.
“The performance that this phenomenally accomplished Washington–based company gave Thursday evening at the Cutler Majestic Theatre turned body language into body music. The kind that makes you want to get up and dance.”
The Boston Globe