Caribbelle and Caribbeau: Global Caribbean Women & Men Meetup!
Bring your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors to
see the culturally enriching performance of Dance Africa 2014 at BAM! My family and I will be there and we hope to see you and your family as well. :-)
FUN, FUN and more FUN!
Ticket Purchase: $25
Link: Online Tickets
1977: The Origins of DanceAfrica
Chuck Davis Dance Company, circa 1970s By the mid 1970s the Chuck Davis
Dance Company was one of the highest profile African-American dance companies in New York City. Based in the Bronx, for many years the company had been busy with various community outreach programs. With grants from the NEA, CDDC taught choreography and physical education to Bronx teens, and in 1976 it was designated company in residence for the New York City Board of Education.
Through lecture-demonstrations, movement workshops, and concerts, the company reached over 15,000 students in public schools across the city, serving as a motivational force designed to inspire greater academic achievement.
These activities laid the groundwork for what would come to be known as the first DanceAfrica: the February 1977 residency of the Chuck Davis Dance Company in the Lepercq space at BAM. Continuing its community-oriented work, CDDC added a new element to their mission: to promote the celebration of African heritage, which emerged as the hallmark of DanceAfrica.
Chuck Davis, 1977 Upon entering the Lepercq, visitors to the Chuck Davis Company’s performances found themselves in the middle of a constructed African village. A note in the program read:
In essence, you are visitors to our village which is wherever we are. We welcome you with Dyembes (Drums) and Eparoro (Chant). Through the chant we ask that you not only enjoy your stay with us but form with us a comradeship that
will remain a lasting association.And indeed the association has been long lasting: for the past 35 years each spring has brought to the Brooklyn community a celebration of African identity and heritage, as Chuck Davis has expanded his metaphorical village into a real community. Starting from the
basis of his own company, Davis has built a network of African and African-inspired dance ensembles from around the world, which perform at BAM and other venues across the US year after year. And this year is doubly significant: not only is it the 35th anniversary of DanceAfrica but Chuck Davis is celebrating his 75th year on this planet. As Davis himself would say, “peace, love, and respect” goes out to all members of the DanceAfrica community past and present in this milestone year.