It’s been a long time coming – 19 years to be exact – but DanceAfrica has finally made its way down from New York, Chicago, and DC for the debut of DanceAfrica Miami on Saturday, August 6. This isn’t your typical ballet or dance performance. DanceAfrica is your opportunity to get a taste of the Motherland without ever leaving the state. DanceAfrica is a cultural experience with dramatic storylines that narrates the heritage and traditions of the African diaspora through cutting edge choreography, infectious drumming, and traditional music. If you can appreciate the arts, dance, and culture, then you’ll be amazed by DanceAfrica Miami, which makes its debut at the 7th Annual African Diaspora Dance and Drum Festival of Florida (A.D.D.D.F.F) on August 5 – 7 at the Miramar Cultural Center and the Little Haiti Cultural Center.
Forget the Dab, dutty wine, the Nae Nae, or twerking. The three-day cultural weekend takes you on a West African journey through music and dance and ends in the Caribbean. See Senegalese dance in action. Listen to Guinea drum rhythms by a Djembe drum master or rhythms from the Ivory Coast. Drum or play the balafon, which is like a wooden xylophone. Learn Haitian folklore dance, Haitian drum, and traditional rhythms of Haiti. Then head over to Cuba for a performance by the Sikan Afro-Cuban Dance Project. The entire lineup of performances, dancers, and drumming workshops will have you feeling like the United Nations of music.
If you love to dance or just want a fun workout, the festival weekend opens up with more than 15 African, modern, and Caribbean dance, drum, and music workshops presented by international choreographers. There’s also something for the kids with a free Children’s Village Zone featuring Zumba for Kids dance lessons, arts & crafts, African folktale storytelling, face painting, and back to school giveaways.
The main event is the DanceAfrica Miami debut on Saturday, August 6 at the Miramar Cultural Center and will be headlined by New York’s infamous Forces of Nature Dance Theater, which celebrates thirty-five years of producing cultural ballets. The line-up also includes performances by local and international artists, including the Delou Africa Dance Ensemble, West African Dance & Drum Collective, Nancy St. Leger Dance Ensemble, Sikan Afro-Cuban Dance Project, African Watoto Dance Theatre, and the Children of Kuumba. Immediately following the concert is a gala reception fundraiser to benefit Delou’s ongoing programs with entertainment to include Pantastick Steel Orchestra, Fun Generation costume mask showcase for the 2016 Miami Broward One Carnival, and DJ Isis and DJ Bunny.
Tickets to DanceAfrica Miami show are $35 for adults, $20 for seniors and students, and $5 for children two and under. The gala reception fundraiser is $25 or $10 with a concert ticket. DanceAfrica Miami tickets can be purchased at www.miramarculturalcenter.org/597/Buy-Tickets-to-Upcoming-Events. Dance and drum workshops are $15 – $25, and the full schedule is available at adddff.delouafrica.org/schedule.