On Friday, January 20, at 7:00pm, Door Community Auditorium (DCA) will present an evening with Step Afrika!, a Washington, D.C., dance troupe that performs a riveting mix of dance, body percussion, and spoken word. The Village Voice calls a performance by Step Afrika! “a jubilation of rhythm and spirit that harks back to the essence of dancing.”
Step Afrika!, founded in 1994, is the first professional dance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, a unique art form created at African-American fraternities and based in African dance traditions. Incorporating intricate rhythmic patterns of kicks, stomps, claps, and chants, the dancers of Step Afrika! use their bodies as instruments. Step Afrika! was created as an exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa and has since expanded to become an international touring company presenting performances, residencies, and workshops worldwide.
During the troupe’s time in Fish Creek, they will present workshops (on Wednesday, January 18) and matinee performances (at 10am and 1pm on Thursday, January 19) for students. Also on January 18 (time to be determined), there will also be a stepping demo and screening of “On Tiptoe, Gentle Steps to Freedom: The Music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo,” featuring a question-and-answer session with director Eric Simonson. The demo and film screening will be open to the public.
Before Step Afrika’s performance on Friday, January 20, DCA’s Link Gallery of Children’s Art will host a reception for its new exhibit, “The Rhythm of Communication: Visual Depictions of Music.” This exhibit was prepared to accompany the Step Afrika! appearance at DCA and to reflect on the power of rhythm as a communication tool. The artwork in the exhibit was created by Gibraltar elementary, middle, and high school students in response to rhythms of various pieces of music. The reception will begin at 6:00pm.
In keeping with the themes of the Step Afrika! performance, DCA will also present a lecture by Dr. Jeremy Doughty in its lobby at 10:00am on Saturday, January 14 called “#FeesMustFall: Student Activism in South Africa.”
The performance by Step Afrika! is made possible with support from major sponsor Edgewood Orchard Galleries Cookbook, as well as Passport Program partners Friends of Gibraltar, RocketDSD.com/IceCreamSource.com, and Grasse’s Grill.Step Afrika! will perform at DCA at 7:00pm on Friday, January 20. Tickets for the concert range from $24 to $48, with a limited number of $10 tickets available for students. Advance reservations are recommended and can be made through the DCA box office, located at 3926 Highway 42 in Fish Creek. The box office is open Monday-Friday, 12:00-5:00pm. Tickets can be purchased in person, on the phone at (920) 868-2728, or online at www.dcauditorium.org.