Review: Sankofa Danzafro in BEHIND THE SOUTH: DANCES FOR MANUEL at The Joyce Theater Captivates

Sankofa Danzafro at The Joyce Theater

By: Feb. 29, 2024
Review: Sankofa Danzafro in BEHIND THE SOUTH: DANCES FOR MANUEL at The Joyce Theater Captivates
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The Joyce Theater Foundation is now presenting Colombia’s Sankofa Danzafro in the U.S. premiere of Behind the South: Dances for Manuel. The enthralling work effectively utilizes the art of dance to preserve and highlight the history and culture of the Afro-Colombian people.  Sankofa Danzafro is led by Artistic Director and Choreographer, Rafael Palacios Callejas.  The world-renowned troupe’s current production continues to draw from the meaning of the company’s name, "to return to the root.” We attended the show on Wednesday night when the dancers received a well-deserved standing ovation. It will be performed at The Joyce Theater through Sunday, March 3.

Behind the South: Dances for Manuel honors Colombian doctor, anthropologist, and writer, Manuel Zapata Olivella. His 1983 acclaimed novel, “Changó, el Gran Putas documents the African diaspora in South America and has inspired Sankofa Danzafro’s movement-based tribute to the vital force of the muntu African people. The company of spirited dancers and talented musicians celebrate the muntu’s use of the dancing body and live music as ritual to invoke Changó, the son of Yemaja and the mother goddess, protector of birth in the Yoruba tradition.  The grace, athleticism, rhythm, and sheer energy of Sankofa Danzafro is exciting and a joy to behold.

Review: Sankofa Danzafro in BEHIND THE SOUTH: DANCES FOR MANUEL at The Joyce Theater Captivates

The dynamic dancers perform to perfection individually and collectively.  They include Piter Alexander Angulo Moreno, Raitzza Castaneda Torres, Diego Leon De Los Rios Naranjo, Liliana Hurtado Hinestroza, Katerin Moreno Aguilar, Maryeris Mosquera Batista, Jhoan Andres Mosquera Ibarguen, Sandra Vanesa Murillo Mosquera, Maria Elena Murillo Palacios, Estayler Osorio Fuentes, Yndira Perea Cuesta, and William Camilo Perlaza Micolta.  The Musicians include Gregg Anderson Hudson Mitchell, Juan Jose Luna Coha.  Set design and lighting is by Alvaro Tobon Hincapie.

Review: Sankofa Danzafro in BEHIND THE SOUTH: DANCES FOR MANUEL at The Joyce Theater Captivates

Behind the South: Dances for Manuel by Sankofa Danzafro is a performance that you will not only view but feel deeply with its meaningful expression of human connections.  We applaud the company for making this passionate, stunning production available to The Joyce Theater audiences.

Tickets, range in price from $12-$72 and that includes fees. They can be purchased at www.Joyce.org. or by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at West 19th Street. 

Photo Credit: Marcela Golmez


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