DanceAfrica at 30

In early 1977 the New York-based Chuck Davis Dance Company staged a remarkable performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Influenced by a recent trip to Nigeria, their show incorporated elements of both modern dance and African traditions.

The critics were captivated. New York Times noted that, “the dancers performed with spirit, good humor and the kind of exuberance with which the Davis company consistently manages to draw in its audience” conveying “the spirit as well as the steps of African dance.”

The success of the show at BAM inspired Davis to create a day-long celebration of music, dance and culture from and inspired by the nations of Africa. He called it DanceAfrica.

In the 30 years since that first performance, DanceAfrica has become an annual Memorial Day weekend tradition. Now a three-day festival, the event includes performances, classes and films as well as a sprawling outdoor African Village Bazaar where vendors from around the world fill the streets surrounding BAM with movement, music and color.


Baskets for sale
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Masks for sale
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Men examining African crafts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Friends
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Three old friends
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Dancers with son
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Men with jewelry & shades
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Woman Examining Rack of Dresses
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Man with red scarf
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Man with gold chain
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Drummer
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Mother & daughter
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Boy selling t-shirt
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Couple
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Dancing in the street
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Woman shopping
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Man with flag
Originally uploaded by annulla.

BAM: 30 Years of DanceAfrica
Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble
NY Times: African Energy Celebrated Ebulliently and Symbolically
NY Times: Dance Review – African Pieces by Chuck Davis (02/27/77)
Wikipedia: DanceAfrica
Wikipedia: Brooklyn Academy of Music

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4 Responses to DanceAfrica at 30

  1. Kathleen B says:

    The festive wearing apparel is so amazing……….. I love it and the way you captured it.

    I wish I could be there to purchase one of those baskets and the masks would fit into our home decor so perfect.

    Appreciate sharing the outing with you.

    Like

  2. photowannabe says:

    Colorful and full of vibrancy. Thanks for showing us a very exciting festival.

    Like

  3. moi says:

    the festive spirit comes alive through the joy write on the faces………loved the baskets…i wish i could lay my hands upon them…

    Like

  4. [...] DanceAfrica at 30 Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Wikipedia: DanceAfrica Wikipedia: Brooklyn Academy of Music [...]

    Like

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