May 18 at 3pm
DanceAfrica 2014 Memorial Day weekend performances:
May 23 at 7:30pm
May 24 at 2 & 7:30pm
At the “Meet & Greet” which happened at BAM on Tuesday, May 14, soon after this year’s guest artist from Madagascar arrived from Africa, the Attic Studio was filled with members of the DanceAfrica family. Baba Chuck Davis, founder and artistic director positions the Council of Elders (some there from 1977) to head up the circle that would also include, the BAM Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble, BAM/Education staff lead by Stefanie Hughley, many more from the BAM staff, plus members of the music and dance ensemble Groupe Bakomanga of Madagascar. In the large circle, in English and Malagasy (the language of Madagascar), we introduced ourselves in-between clapping out rhythms saying “I am…” What fun and what a coming together it was. Hughley noted that the education department had been learning about Madagascar since it was decided that Groupe Bakomanga would be this year's guest artists, and upwards of 4,000 students are now familiar with the culture and will see the show. BAM Restoration quotes about 500 students waiting to collaborate for the annual performance. This is just the beginning!
The traditional Memorial Day weekend celebration of dance, music, film, visual arts and community events begin May 18 and continues May 23-26. The theme is “Celebrating Africa’s Ban,” and with Groupe Bakomanga, DanceAfrica spotlights Madagascar for the first time. Baba Chuck says, “It’s part of my legacy to make sure that our supporters and DanceAfrica family receive the best of the best coming from as many different parts of the Continent. West African dance is not the only dance…our heritage comes from all over the Continent.” Find out more here