|African Artisan Spotlight|
We Step. We Tour. We Teach.
Step Afrika! is the first professional company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Founded in December 1994, the company is critically-acclaimed for its efforts to promote an understanding of and appreciation for stepping and the dance tradition's use as an educational tool for young people worldwide. Step Afrika! reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year and has performed on many stages in North & South America, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.
Step Afrika! Celebrates its 15th Anniversary with the 2009 Home Performance Series and a special African Ancestry Night on May 28th!
The 2009 Home Performance Series, from May 27th - May 31st, consists of five extraordinary performances, community outreach activities and a special 15th Anniversary Performance & Celebration. This year’s Series will also celebrate 15 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa.
The 15th Anniversary Home Performance Series will feature several guest artists: Jason Nious, star of Cirque de Soleil’s Ka in Las Vegas, the W.E.S. Group jazz quartet, and special artists all the way from Johannesburg, South Africa. All performances will be held at the trendy Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC.
As partners of Step Afrika!, African Ancestry will be joining the celebration:
- On Wednesday, May 27, 2009 during the Opening Night Performance, African Ancestry will reveal the roots of Step Afrika! founder, C. Brian Williams.
- On Thursday, May 28, 2009, African Ancestry will be in attendance for the official African Ancestry Night!
Test Kits will be available for a discounted price, and a portion of all proceeds will be donated right back to Step Afrika!
To find out more about the 2009 Home Performance Series and buy tickets, click here.
Step Afrika! shows how dance can be wonderful tool for cross-cultural exchange!
Step Afrika! started as a cultural festival in the historic township of Soweto, South Africa, through a partnership with the Soweto Dance Theatre. Its founder, Brian Williams wanted to highlight the striking similarities between stepping (the percussive dance tradition of African American fraternities and sororities) and the gumboot dance (a dance form first created by South African mineworkers).
At the festival, workshops focus on traditional and contemporary art forms found in both countries and include dance instruction from the Zulu, Sotho and Tswana traditions along with stepping, ballet and hip-hop. The result is a dynamic sharing environment that breaks down barriers and long-held stereotypes carried by both communities.
Step Afrika! will return to South Africa & Madagascar in September 2009 for an exciting four-city tour. It’s going to be an historic return!
Step Afrika! is active in your community!
Step Afrika! has brought so many wonderful opportunities to our artists, our audiences and especially our young people. With an extensive array of arts programming for children, Step Afrika! received the 2005 Mayor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education and annually provides over 100 school-based performances for more than 20,000 young students in DC, Maryland and Virginia alone.
Step Afrika! also tours internationally to spread its messages across the Diaspora.
Step Afrika! artists are not only great performers, but also wonderful teachers who can instill in young people a sense of teamwork, discipline and commitment.
For more information, check out www.stepafrika.org!