Forty years after its inauguration under the artistic direction of Chuck Davis, the nation’s largest festival of African dance returns for a special anniversary celebration. This year’s performance, under the leadership of Artistic Director Abdel R. Salaam, is a special curated program that pays tribute to the past, present, and future of the landmark festival and the transformative power of movement.
Members of Philadelphia’s hip-hop based Illstyle & Peace Productions join with members of New York City’s Forces of Nature and the drummers and dancers of Asase Yaa, performing a joyful collision of traditional and contemporary styles. Then, Wula Drum and Dance Ensemble—a master group of US-based Guinean dancers and musicians—present a spirited showcase of West African culture. Both ensembles are joined by the BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble.