This year marks the 25th anniversary of one of DC’s brightest and most entertaining arts festivals—DanceAfrica, DC. Festivities begin in only one week, so we at Pink Line wanted to be sure that you had all of the details surrounding Washington’s celebration of the dance and music of the African Diaspora.
DanceAfrica is a heritage and community celebration held annually in New York City, Washington, DC, and Chicago. Created by Chuck Davis of the African American Dance Ensemble and co-hosted in DC by Dance Place, it’s one of DC’s most exciting events.
Held on May 29 – June 3, the 2012 festival will honor some incredible members of the African dance community, including Baba Chuck Davis, Melvin Deal, and Assane Konte. Between the master classes, marketplace, outdoor activities, and performances, this week-long festival is full of invigorating and educational programs for any age.
Interested in taking a class? Then sign up for one of the many Master Classes, taking place from May 29 through June 3. Taught by some of the most distinguished local, national, and international African instructors, the DanceAfrica classes offer a range of training opportunities. Here’s the breakdown:
- Tuesday, May 29, 6:30pm: Assane Konte, Artistic Director, KanKouran West African Dance Co
- Wednesday, May 30, 6:30pm: Nkenge Cunningham, Dancer, Farafina Kan
- Thursday, May 31, 6:30pm: Djian Tié, Master teacher of Ivory Coast dance styles
- Saturday, June 2, 10:30am: Griot Baba Chuck Davis
- Sunday, June 3, 10:30am: Ezibu Muntu
If you can’t make it for a class during the week, then we definitely suggest stopping by on Saturday, June 2 and/or Sunday, June 3 for the main days of activities, including the African Marketplace, outdoor demonstrations, and the performance series.
Starting at noon and lasting until sunset, the African Marketplace will feature African arts, class, and food. It will be the best place to mingle before or after classes and performances.
There will also be an array of FREE pre-performance outdoor demonstrations such as a Kora musical performance by Amadou Kouyate, HoopDance with Carla Perlo and Delante White, Belly Dancing with Moonira, Line Dancing with Lorenzo Evans, and a parade from the 12th St Gallery to Dance Place with Coyaba Dance Theater. (For the full schedule, visit DancePlace.org.)
Last but not least, from 2pm to 8pm, some of the best African artists from DC and around the world will perform on stage as a part of the festival’s Performance Series. We’re especially excited about the Dance Party at 8pm following Saturday night’s lineup! (For the full performance lineup featuring everyone from Griot Chuck Davis and Ezibu Muntu to Coyaba Dance Theater and Sankofa Dance Theater, visit DancePlace.org)
I’ve included a fun highlight reel from 2010’s DanceAfrica, DC festival, which should give you a flavor of what is to come. No matter if it’s your first time, this particular celebration is one of our favorite staples year after year. If anything, get to know some of DC’s longest standing arts organizations and pay tribute to the rich culture that this great city is home to.
Dance Africa, DC runs from May 29 through June 3 at DancePlace, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017. For class reservations and performance tickets and prices, visit DancePlace.org. Advance ticket sales end at midnight on Sunday, May 27. General admission begins Monday, May 28.
To learn more about Dance Place, visit their website.
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