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Thursday, May 30, 2013

In Context: DanceAfrica

Get even closer to the DanceAfrica 2013 performances, bazaar, films, and more with this curated selection of links, articles, and original blog pieces related to the celebration. For those who've already seen any part of it, help us keep the conversation going by telling us what you thought below. Ago! Amée!

On the Blog

DanceAfrica's Diaspora: A Guide
Survey DanceAfrica, country by country.

How Many Miles from Brooklyn to Bulawayo?
Read up on BAM's blossoming relationship with Zimbabwean dance.

A superstar vendor from the DanceAfrica Bazaar reveals a few vegan culinary secrets. 

Rhythms and Liberation: Meet the BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble
Restoration dancers share their favorite DanceAfrica moments and valuable advice for the next generation of artists

The fashion designer and singer will be at the DanceAfrica Bazaar this weekend. 

Read about the beginnings of a BAM tradition.

In this interview from 2012, the soul of DanceAfrica talks about the legacy, his fabulous robes, and more. 

Around the Web

DanceAfrica 2013: Recap (Facebook)
A photo recap of all of the events, performances, and events surrounding this year's DanceAfrica.
Umkhathi Theatre Works (
Learn more about the Zimbabwe-based multidisciplinary performing arts ensemble.

Harambee Dance Company (
The Charleston-based company mixes African-based movement and music with western forms.

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration’s Youth Arts Academy
Young people from this essential arts center comprise the BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble

Related Events

Related Event
DanceAfrica Bazaar
Over 300 vendors from around the world transform the neighborhood into a bustling global marketplace.

Related Event
DanceAfrica @ BAMcafé Live
Grand Baton, Earthman Experience, and Abdou Mboup play BAMcafé Live as part of DanceAfrica 2013.

Related Event
Late-Night Dance Party with Ralph McDaniels & the Video Music Box
Pioneering hip-hop tastemaker Ralph McDaniels lays down old-school hip-hop beats all night long.

Related Event
Film Africa
Discover the best new films from Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, and beyond in this cinematic companion to DanceAfrica.

Related Event
African Dance Workshops
Members of Umkhathi Theatre Works (Zimbabwe) and Chuck Davis lead two workshops on dance and music.

Essential Knowledge

"Ago?" "Amée!!" If you've ever attended a DanceAfrica performance, you've definitely heard that call-and-response echo through the room. The words are from the Ghanaian language, and they mean "Can I have your attention?" and "You have my attention," respectively. So when Baba Chuck Davis bellows his booming "Ago?" at the crowd this weekend, be sure to holler back in Ghanaian and let him know you're listening.

Now Your Turn . . .

So what's your verdict? Inspired by Umkhathi Theatre Works to learn how to dance? Mouth still tingling from trying Nyota's spinach curry at the bazaar? Give us your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. my favorite part was those male dancers in the grass skirt, they were off the chart, very entertaing

  2. Greetings. I live in Washington, DC and have attended and performed in DanceAfrica-DC for the past 9 years!!! I wanted to come to DanceAfrica-New York as I may be living in New York in the near future. I wanted to ensure that I would be able to continue to connect up to various cultural activities like here in DC. I was not disappointed! I enjoyed my New York experience tremendously!! Thank you for your contributions to a great time!!!

  3. It was my first time going, and I brought my 17 year old son with me. We both enjoyed the show immensely! So warm, energetic, colorful, and what a display of talent! Made us even more proud of our African roots. Thank you so much to all involved for this experience. We'll be back again next year!

  4. I like that the production brought history into the performance through narration and through dance. The "narrator" appropriately brought in the various experiences of that which should not be forgotten by the younger generation. I am not of African descent but I do believe that the medium of dance for any culture has many intentions, one of which is to pass on common historical experiences. Both the dance and the narrative effectively communicated these experiences. It is very important that the younger generation know their roots so that they can persevere in trials, improve life for all, and learn from the past. Thank you for this experience.

  5. Very enjoyable performance. My 10 year oldgrandaughter loved it. So enteraing and colorful, we just joined in with the singing. Thanks for a woderful experience.

  6. Have been attending for years and have performed in one. This year was OUTSTANDING. Enjoyed ALL performances, especially the Zimbabwe group.Great choreography and execution. Enjoyed the Harambee fusion of music and their individualistic and unique presentation. Who is that little guy with the cap??? Loved his footwork and musical abilities. Thanks Chuck.

    1. I attended BAM 2013 and it was awesome as always. I had a great time. My favorite part was the guys that did the stomping and used there sticks for music. I have been going to BAM for the past 4 yrs and will continue to give my support. Thank you Chuck Davis and the BAM family:-).

  7. This was my first time attending BAM. I took my 12 year old granddaugher. Well worth the travel from Cherry Hill NJ. See you againg next year!


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