Step Afrika! Announces 2019-20 Season
Step Afrika!, the world's first professional dance company dedicated to the art of stepping, continues its 25th season with a newly commissioned work, international and national touring and performances throughout their hometown of Washington, D.C.
Much like the power and timeliness of their recently concluded tour of The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence, Step Afrika! adds another seminal work to the dance canon this season. Drumfolk, inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739, explores this little-known event in American history that would forever transform African-American life and culture. When Africans lost the right to use their drums, the beats found their way into the body of the people, the Drumfolk. New percussive forms took root leading to the development of some of our country's most distinct performance traditions like the ring shout, tap, and stepping.
"Creating Drumfolk as part of our 25th Anniversary season further highlights Step Afrika!'s celebration and preservation of the tradition of stepping. Drumfolk explores the origins of stepping in relation to The Negro Act of 1740 and its transformative and long-lasting effects on African-American culture."- Founder and Executive Director C. Brian Williams.
Drumfolk will debut at Eisenhower Auditorium at Penn State on January 31, 2020 followed by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana, IL February 4-9, 2019; The Soraya, Los Angeles, CA February 19-24; New Victory Theatre, New York, NY February 24-March 15; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE March 29-April 5; Meany Hall, Seattle, WA May 4-9; and Arts Emerson, Boston, MA July 6-26. Step Afrika!'s residency in each city will include feature-length performances, student matinees, master classes and workshops.
Continuing their mission to promote an appreciation for stepping and its use as an educational, motivational and healthy tool for young people; Step Afrika! performed, led workshops, and master classes during their tour of all eight wards of Washington, D.C. this summer. Following their September 2019 international tour (Zambia, Angola and South Africa), the company will return to Washington, D.C. to end 2019 with the Step Afrika! Birthday Party (December 4) and The Magical Musical Holiday Step Show (December 12 - December 22).
About Step Afrika!
Founded in 1994, Step Afrika! is the world's first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping-a polyrhythmic, percussive dance form that uses the body as an instrument. Step Afrika! promotes stepping as a contemporary dance genre through critically-acclaimed performances and arts education programs. Creatively engaging audiences in this nascent art form, the Company creates new full-length productions that expand on stepping's unique American history.
With 14 full-time dancers and administrative team of 6, Step Afrika! is one of the top 10 U.S. African American dance companies. The Company reaches thousands each year through a 50-city tour of American colleges and theaters and performs globally as an official U.S. Cultural Ambassador. New work, such as The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence and Drumfolk, tour to major U.S. cities. Step Afrika! is featured at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture with the world's first interactive stepping exhibit.
Public Playhouse/Cheverly, MD/January 2-24, 2020 (in residency
5445 Landover Road, Cheverly, MD 20784
Penn State University/January 27-31, 2020
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/Urbana, IL/February 4-9, 2020
500 S. Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
The Soraya/Los Angeles, CA/ February 19-24, 2020
California State University Nothridge
Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, Great Hall
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8448
New Victory Theatre/February 24-March 15, 2020
229 W 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036
Delaware Art Museum/ The Grand Opera House/ Wilmington, DE/March 29-April 5, 2020
818 North Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
Drumfolk/Meany Hall/Seattle, WA/May 4-9, 2020
4040 George Washington Lane NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Arts Emerson/Boston, MA/July 6-26, 2020
219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
Washington, D.C. shows
Home Performance Series/Washington, DC/June 6-14, 2020
Magical Musical Holiday Step Show/Washington, DC/December 12-22,2019
Atlas Performing Arts Center ,1333 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
National College Tour
University of S. Mississippi/Hattiesburg, MS/September 20, 2019
Pittsburgh State University/Pittsburgh, KS/September 23, 2019
Maryville University/ St. Louis, MO/September 25, 2019
University of Kansas/Lawrence, MO/September 26, 2019
Wichita State University/Wichita, Kansas, September 27, 2019
Albright College/Reading, PA/September 28, 2019
Albion College/Albion, MI/October 1, 2019
NACA Showcase/October 3, 2019
NACA Central Showcase/Arlington, TX/October 5, 2019
Furman University/Greenville, SC/October 9, 2019
Francis Marion University/Florence, SC/October 10, 2019
NACA Showcase/Buffalo, NY/October 17, 2019
Prince George's Community College/Largo, MD/October 19, 2019
Prince George's Community College
Center for the Performing Arts, Grand Theater
301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774
Wittenburg University/Springfield, OH/October 21, 2019
Clarion University/Clarion, PA/November 9, 2019
Lenfest Center/Lexington, VA/January 16, 2020
Lenfest Center for the Arts at Washington and Lee University
100 Glasgow Street, Lexington, VA 24450
Northern Virginia Community College/Springfield, VA/January 31, 2020
NW Missouri State University/Maryville, MO/February 5, 2020
Buena Vista University/Storm Lake, IA/February 6, 2020
Knox College/Galesburg, IL/February 10, 2020
Texas A&M University/College Station, TX/February 12, 2020
Southern Africa Tour/Zambia/September 8-14, 2019
Southern African Tour/Angola/September 17-22, 2019
Southern African Tour/South Africa/September 23-30, 2019