DanceAfrica

BAM Launches DanceAfrica Digital Programs, Bringing the Joy of the Beloved Festival into Our Homes, Launching May 18

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BAM launches DanceAfrica digitally with a series of public programs celebrating the nation’s largest African dance festival and its community. Programs launch May 18th with offerings that include conversations with Abdel R. Salaam, Rennie Harris, Ronald K. Brown, Mikki Shepard, DanceAfrica Elders, and more; online dance classes; streams of past performances; FilmAfrica; and other programs that bring the joy of the festival into audiences’ home. The popular Brooklyn bazaar goes digital for the first time in 43 years highlighting 20+ small businesses through an online marketplace, May 14—June 15.

Images from DanceAfrica: 2019 Rwanda Reborn: The Remix_Photos by Julieta Cervantes

DanceAfrica digital public programming has been specially created in response to the current world environment, with audiences seeking compelling ways to connect with their community and explore the arts from home. BAM’s longest-running and most beloved program is a community celebration, welcoming all to observe. The celebratory events will continue the series of unique digital experiences offered by Love from BAM. Visit BAM.org to join and view a weekly schedule.

Public Digital Programming Includes:

May 21, 2020/Brooklyn, NY—DanceAfrica—the nation’s largest African dance festival—continues its celebration through May 29 with special Memorial Day weekend programs, including a live dance party, a conversation with Mikki Shepard, and more. Visit BAM.org to join and view a weekly schedule. Detailed information below. 

Mon, May 25 at 11am ET

DanceAfrica, The Early Years 

Mikki Shepard, the original producer of DanceAfrica, discusses the festival’s inaugural year and how the program grew, from 1977 to 1984, complemented by video clips from past DanceAfrica performances. Free and open to the public. JOIN HERE. For more information, visit BAM.org

Mon, May 25 from 7pm—9pm ET
DanceAfrica Dance Party with DJ YB
Keep the DanceAfrica celebration going with a live, virtual dance party featuring a set by DJ YB. During the dance party, DanceAfrica will encourage donations to the mutual aid group Bed Stuy Strong, a network of neighbors helping neighbors in central Brooklyn during the COVID-19 crisis. Join DJ YB for an evening of Afrobeat, funk, soul, rock, jazz, and hip-hop stylings. JOIN HERE. For more information, visit BAM.org 

Tue, May 26 at 6pm ET

DanceAfrica and The Council of Elders

The DanceAfrica Council of Elder members Mamma Normadien and Baba N’goma Woolbright join Abdel R. Salaam

and Charmaine Warren to reflect on their DanceAfrica wedding ceremony (1983) as well as their participation in DanceAfrica over the years, both as Elders and as longtime stage managers. Free and open to the public. JOIN HERE. For more information, visit BAM.org

Wed, May 27 at 6pm ET

DanceAfrica and The Council of Elders 

DanceAfrica Council of Elder leaders and longtime members Mamma Lynette White-Mathews and Baba Bill (William) Mathews join Arts Consultant Stefanie Hughley for a discussion on performances over the years, complemented by video clips from DanceAfrica performances in 2011 and 2019. Free and open to the public. JOIN HERE. For more information, visit BAM.org

Thu, May 28 at 6pm ET

Education and DanceAfrica

Karen Thornton Daniels, Sabine LaFortune (RestorationART), Coco Killingsworth (BAM), and Abdel R. Salaam share their experiences and insights about the essential and evolving role education has played in DanceAfrica. Free and open to the public. JOIN HERE. For more information, visit BAM.org

Fri, May 29 at 2pm ET

Bantaba West African Dance Class

Karen Thornton Daniels and Farai Malianga lead this bantaba dance class with a focus on a variety of dances and traditions from West Africa. Free and open to the public. JOIN HERE. For more information, visit BAM.org

Fri, May 29 at 6pm ET

DanceAfrica Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Coco Killingsworth, Charmaine Warren, and Abdel R. Salaam gather to talk about the beloved program and the passing of the torch after Founding Artistic Director Baba Chuck Davis’ transition. Free and open to the public. JOIN HERE. For more information, visit BAM.org

SCREENINGS

FilmAfrica Co-presented by BAM & AFF, Inc

BAM partners with African Film Festival, Inc. to present online screenings of a selection of modern African cinema classics. For prices and more information visit BAM.org.

Opens Thu, May 21

  • Aya of Yop City (2012) Directed by Marguerite Abouet, Clément Oubrerie (85min)
  • Mother of George (2012) Directed by Andrew Dosunmu (106min)
  • Rafiki (2018) Directed by Wanuri Kahiu (83min)
  • Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love (2008) Directed by Chai Vasarhelyi (102min)

Opens Thu, May 28

  • A Screaming Man (2010) Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (92min)
  • Chez Jolie Coiffure (2018) Directed by Rosine Mbakam (71min)
  • I Am Not a Witch (2017) Directed by Rungano Nyoni (93min)
  • National Diploma (2014) Directed by Dieudo Hamadi (93min)

ONGOING

Fri, May 15—Sun, Jun 14

DanceAfrica Digital Bazaar  

DanceAfrica’s popular free outdoor bazaar goes digital this year, creating an online marketplace highlighting small businesses offering the finest fashion, food, jewelry, and crafts. Free and open to the public. For more information visit bam.org/bazaar

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