Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts: Step Afrika!

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Step Afrika!

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College presents Step Afrika!

Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 2pm.

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2015-16 season on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 2pm with Step Afrika! 

The dancers of Step Afrika! use their bodies as instruments, combining traditional step choreography with other styles including tap, modern, and hip hop to create an enthralling, high-energy performance.  Opening for the company will be the award-winning, Brooklyn-based step group Regime. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-6pm).

As an art form, stepping is an important part of America's artistic and cultural heritage. In stepping, the body is used as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and the spoken word.  It is based on a long and rich tradition in African-based communities that uses movement, words and sounds to communicate allegiance to a group. It draws 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.

The stepping tradition in the United States grew out of song and dance rituals practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, beginning in the early 1900s.

Today, stepping is not only practiced on college campuses; it can also be found in schools, churches, and community organizations around the country. The form is also spreading its wings to new venues and participants, such as Latino and Asian American Greek-letter organizations.

Founded in December 1994, Step Afrika! (C. Brian Williams, Founder and Executive Director; Jakari Sherman, Artistic Director) is the first professional company in the world dedicated to the art of stepping, a unique art form originating in African American fraternities and based in rich African traditions. 

The company is celebrated worldwide for its efforts to promote an appreciation for stepping and the dance tradition's use as an educational tool for young people. Step Afrika! reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year and has performed on many stages in North & South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

Based in Washington, DC, Step Afrika! is DC's first and only Cultural Ambassador representing the city and nation at events around the world. The company completes an annual 50-city tour of colleges and theaters from Maine to Mississippi and is a national model for the use of stepping in education, espousing themes such as teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding.

Step Afrika! is a frequent partner of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Washington Performing Arts Society and has graced some of America's most prestigious stages from the White House to New York City's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Founded in 2011, Regime Performing Arts is an award-winning step team from the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, composed mostly of students from Brooklyn Collegiate High School.  They are ranked as the number-one step team in New York City, recently winning the 2015 Step Competition portion of the McDonalds Gospelfest. Regime has performed across the country in schools, prisons, churches, and other public forums, and have also been seen at the Barclays Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Apollo Theatre, and Madison Square Garden. They are currently ranked third in the nation by Youth Step USA.

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts' presentation of Step Afrika! is made possible, in part, by Macy's, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and The Harkness Foundation for Dance.  Promotional support for Step Afrika! has been provided by Youth Step USA.

Visit BrooklynCenter.org for a complete season lineup.

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