DanceAfrica at 30

May 28, 2007

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


Remembering in Bay Ridge

May 28, 2007

This is a side of Brooklyn you’ve never seen on television or in the movies. Here, in the southwestern corner of the borough, in the shadow of the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge, is a place bursting with patriotism and pride.

Today, in this location, there are no wiseguys, gangstas, hipsters or poseurs. No protestors or dissenters, either. Those who crowd the streets and the park have all come for what is known as “the longest-running continuous Memorial Day parade in the United States.”

For the 140th year, those who came to the Bay Ridge Memorial Day parade marched, watched, cheered and waved their flags. They listened to accounts of battles gone by, sacrifices made and lives lost. They wore their uniforms, patches, ribbons and medals, embraced old friends and, quietly, unashamedly wiped away their tears.

On this sunny day, a normally-busy section of the city that never sleeps stopped, stood at attention and remembered. And on Memorial Day in Bay Ridge, no “designer” label could ever equal the status of an ordinary Broooklynite clad in red, white and blue.


Good Fellas Barber Shop
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Kelly’s Tavern with bunting
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Couple paying respects
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Rolling Thunder motorcycle
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Rolling Thunder
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Quartet of Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Girl Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Group of Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Veterans & granddaughter
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Members of the American Legion
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Lady in a yellow suit
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Member of Rolling Thunder
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Scoutmaster
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Boy Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Friends in uniform
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Family group
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Scout & Mom
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Vet with helmet & flag
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Rolling Thunder pair
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Women with flags
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Courier-Life: Brooklyn celebrates Memorial Day ‘07
NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation: This Memorial Day Weekend
Bay Ridge Blog


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