Alternate Title The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond
Production Language English
Country of Origin Guinea, United States, Mali
Description DanceAfrica, the country’s largest showcase of African dance, celebrates the 40th anniversary this year under the theme of The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond.
In 1977, dancer and choreographer Chuck Davis installed an “African village” in the BAM Lepercq Space for his dance engagement. No one anticipated it would evolve into DanceAfrica—BAM’s longest continuous program and one of its most beloved. As it grew into the nation’s largest African dance festival, it incorporated performances, education, scholarship, community celebrations, film, and visual arts under one big colorful and boisterous umbrella, with invited dance companies representative of the worldwide African diaspora interacting with local dance companies. In 2016, Abdel R. Salaam took over as the sole artistic director. He has infused new ideas into the artistic planning, such as conceiving the staging under a unifying theme and addressing contemporary social issues. DanceAfrica 2017 marks the program’s 40th anniversary with a focus on Guinea, a predominately Islamic West African country enriched by some two dozen ethnic traditions.