NBAF 2015 Line Up: Focus on "DANCE"

head-NBAF-SEASON-960pxNews: National Black Arts Festival announces 2015 line-up with focus on the art of dance

Step Afrika! will be one of the headliners at this year's National Black Arts Festival.

Step Afrika! will be one of the headliners at this year’s National Black Arts Festival.

From the sacred ring shout to tap, reinvented through funk and hip-hop; from the fiery Cuban Rumba to concert modern dance; from the South African Gumboot dance to Stepping of American black college fraternities, the vibrancy of African dance has resonated as far across the globe as its diaspora.

The art of dance, intensely physical and rhythmically charged — evanescent, but as old as human culture — will take the spotlight during this year’s National Black Arts Festival during a three-month season that begins July 11.

Festival offerings will focus on the artists who have shaped and defined the discipline across a range of dance forms, born of African culture and spanning from the 18th century to today.

A concert series will feature (in chronological order) master tap artist Savion GloverStep Afrika!, based in Washington, D.C.; the revered Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company; and Malpaso Dance Company from Cuba. Conversations and master classes with the artists will surround each concert. 

The performance series is nested inside a festival lineup that includes a gala tribute, two art gallery hops and a participatory dance symposium curated by African dance scholar Thomas DeFrantz, featuring an impressive roster of local and internationally regarded scholars and artists who will engage in conversations and demonstrations, capped by an Olympic-style youth poetry slam competition. 

Spotlight Series Performance:  

Step Afrika! – “Symphony in Step

Saturday, August 29, 6 p.m.

Based on a new musical score and through its performance of “Symphony in Step,” Step Afrika! offers Atlanta audiences a groundbreaking merger of stepping and classical music in partnership with a local symphony orchestra and gospel choir.  

Members of Step Afrika! will offer a master class for youth, pre-professionals and lovers of dance of all ages and levels of talent.

Tickets: $30 and up ($20 students)

Location: Center Stage Theater, 1374 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta

 * * *

Master Class with Ronald K. Brown

Friday, September 11

Ronald K. Brown offers a master class for youth, pre-professionals and lovers of dance of all ages and levels of talent who are inspired by his innovative, historically and spiritually-rooted modern dance and choreography. A 2015 recipient of the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award among many others awards and honors, Brown offers transformational classes and workshops featuring the African and contemporary elements of his blended style.

 * * *

Spotlight Series Performance:  

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company and Pre-Performance Conversation

Sunday, September 13, 5 p.m. Pre-Performance Conversation; 6 p.m. performance

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, known for its fusion of African dance with contemporary choreography and storytelling that combines Cuban, Caribbean, West African and modern American dance movement. 

Tickets: $30 and up ($20 students)

Location: Ferst Center for the Arts, Georgia Tech, 349 Ferst Dr., Atlanta

 * * *

Master Class with Malpaso Dance Company

Friday, September 18

Members of the Malpaso Dance Company offer a master class for youth, pre-professionals and lovers of dance of all ages and levels of talent.

 * * *05MALPASO-facebookJumboSpotlight Series Performance:

Malpaso Dance Company and Pre-Performance Conversation about the “State of Dance in Cuba Today”

Saturday, September 19, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $30 and up ($20 students)

Location: Ferst Center for the Arts, Georgia Tech, 349 Ferst Dr. Atlanta

 * * *

Film Program:

Film Screenings and Conversations: Representing Us: Black Dance in Film  

Curated by Stephane Dunn, Associate Professor and Director of Morehouse College’s Cinema, Television & Emerging Media Studies (CTEMS) program. 

stormy-weatherScreening of Stormy Weather (1943)

Sunday, July 26, 3 p.m.

The classic musical film Stormy Weather starring Lena Horne and Ben Robinson presents an amazing array of music and dance performances. The film features a performance by the Nicholas brothers, one of the most famous dance scenes in the history of cinema, and showcases performance and choreography by Katherine Dunham and her dancers.

Discussants:  Dr. Stephane Dunn, Morehouse College with Dr. Alessandra Raengo, Emory University  

Tickets: Free

Location: Center for Civil and Human Rights, 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta

 * * *

Screening of School Daze (1988)

Thursday, August 27, 5 p.m.

This is director Spike Lee’s second feature film and a sharply pointed interrogation of skin color politics at fictional Mission College.  Lee’s now iconic modern musical offers a dazzling display of modern dance numbers.  

Discussants: Dr. Stephane Dunn, Morehouse College with African American Film Critics Association founder and president, Gil Robertson

Tickets: Free

Location:  Bank of America Auditorium, Shirley Massey Leadership Building, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive, SW, Atlanta

 * * *

Screening of Rize (2005)

Thursday, September 10, 5:30 p.m.

The screening features the popular, award winning documentary film Rize, in which director and artist David LaChapelle examines South Central Los Angeles youth dance movement and follows the subculture of clowning and krumping.  Popular and critically acclaimed, the film draws parallels between street and African dance forms while mimicking mid-20th century anthropological ritual dance films.

Discussants: Dr. Stephane Dunn, Morehouse College with Rize director David LaChapelle  

Tickets: Free

Location:  Bank of America Auditorium, Shirley Massey Leadership Building, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive, SW, Atlanta

 * * *

outside

Gallery Hop II: “Intersecting Disciplines: Visual/Art/Dance”

Friday, September 18, 6 p.m.

Subscribers are offered a hosted private reception, viewing and tour of the current exhibition, given the opportunity to meet artists, socialize and enjoy dance performances by local dancers featuring different form of traditional, social, modern and contemporary dance at each venue. Participating galleries:

Hammonds House Museum
Exhibition: Albert Chong

Arnika Dawkins Gallery
Exhibition: Gordon Parks American Champion

Tickets: $30 ($25 if purchased before August 15)

- See more at: http://www.artsatl.com/2015/06/news-national-black-arts-festival-an...

website: www.nbaf.org

Credit: ARTATL

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