Flatbush

Step Afrika returns to Brooklyn this weekend

April 23, 2018 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Step Afrika! at Brooklyn Center on April 28. Photo by Sekou Luke

For a third straight season, Step Afrika! will bring their hypnotic rhythms back to Brooklyn.

This year’s production will include an excerpt from the Off-Broadway show “The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence,” which tells the story of African-American migrants who moved from the South to the North in the early 20th century.

While the group’s usual Brooklyn venue is at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts in Flatbush, this season, Step Afrika! will perform at The Kumble Theater at 1 University Plaza.

C. Brian Williams, the group’s founder and executive director, told the Brooklyn Eagle that they’re excited to be back in the borough.

Founded by Williams in 1994, it is the first professional company in the world dedicated to stepping. Stepping, according to the group’s website, draws on movements from African foot dances, such as Gumboot, originally conceived by miners in South Africa as an alternative to drumming, which was banned by authorities.

Today’s stepping tradition grew out of song and dance rituals practiced by historically African-American fraternities and sororities, beginning in the early 1900s. Stepping is known for its intricate, synchronized patterns of stomps, kicks, claps and call-and-response.

“In addition to some new works, we’re bringing some exciting new artists who weren’t in the company for the last couple of years so our audience can get a chance to see Step Afrika! pushing forward,” Williams said. “We have some incredible new dancers that have joined the company in the last year who weren’t with us the last time we were in Brooklyn. We have new artists, we have new works and we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

Step Afrika! will conclude Brooklyn College’s 2017-18 Kumble Theater season with two shows on Saturday, April 28 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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For more information, visit brooklyncenter.org.

 

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