Step Afrika! is one of the top 10 African American dance companies in the world. Step Afrika! promotes stepping as a contemporary dance genre through critically acclaimed performances and arts education programs. Creatively engaging audiences in this nascent art form, the Company creates full-length productions that expand on stepping’s unique American history.
Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities; traditional West and Southern African dances; and an array of contemporary dance and art forms into a cohesive, compelling artistic experience. Performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation. The blend of technique, agility, and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding.
About Step Afrika!
Founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika! is the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping—a polyrhythmic, percussive dance form that uses the body as an instrument. Under Mr. Williams’ leadership, stepping has evolved into one of America’s cultural exports, touring more than 50 countries across the globe.
The Company reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year through a 50-city tour of colleges and theatres and performs globally as Washington, DC’s one and only Cultural Ambassador. Step Afrika! has earned Mayor’s Arts Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education (2005); Innovation in the Arts (2008); and Excellence in an Artistic Discipline (2012); and performed at the White House for President Barack Obama and the First Lady.
Critically Acclaimed works, such as The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrenceand Drumfolk, tour to major U.S. cities. Step Afrika! is prominently featured at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture with an interactive exhibit on the art form of stepping.
To learn more, visit www.stepafrika.org.
Here's A Sneak Peak
Step Afrika! Program
TRIBUTE (choreographed by Jakari Sherman)
Tribute pays homage to the African American step show. The work combines the distinct stepping styles from different fraternities and sororities and blends them together to showcase the incredible variety of stepping. Tribute includes all the exciting elements of the step show--the use of props, ripples and floor work, creative formations and audience participation.
NDLAMU (choreographed by Jackie Semela)
Ndlamu is a traditional dance of the Zulu people and for more than 25 years, Step Afrika! has studied the dance form through the Company’s long-standing partnership with the Soweto Dance Theater. Step Afrika! makes this Ndlamu uniquely its own featuring solos created by each dancer as well as the addition of contemporary movement.
ISICATHULO (choreographed by Jackie Semela)
Isicathulo or “the gumboot dance” is a tradition created by South African workers who labored in the oppressive mining industry of then-apartheid South Africa. Isolated from their families for long periods, the miners transformed their rubber boots into percussive instruments to not only entertain but to share secret messages with each other. Isicathulo has become one of the most popular dance forms in South Africa and has striking similarities to the African-American tradition of stepping.
Traditionally, stepping is performed by groups, big and small. In this Solo, Step Afrika! investigates the form at its most intimate level.
CHICAGO (choreographed by Jakari Sherman)
Chicago finds the rhythm in everyday situations. It is a percussive symphony using body percussion and up to 5 complex polyrhythms performed simultaneously in order to narrate a percussive dance “story.” Inspired by a summer spent in the Windy City, this ground-breaking work transforms the 100-year old, folkloric tradition of stepping into contemporary performance art.
Please read our COVID Health & Safety Guidelines
With the continued, ever-evolving situation of COVID-19 changing regionally and in Connecticut, Shubert Theatre has updated its health and safety policy effective Friday, July 8, 2022:
Patrons are not required to present either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter Shubert Theatre.
The wearing of a face mask while inside the building will be optional for patrons.
While Shubert Theatre has relaxed its COVID-19 policies, it is important to note the following as entry requirements may change based on the following:
Certain shows or artists may require additional COVID-19 protocols which include proof of vaccination and/or masks. Shubert Theatre will include these requirements on its website as well communicated to patrons via email in the days leading up to the specific performances.
Should the Federal, State, local or health authorities issue further changes to policy in response to an increase in COVID-19 infection rates, Shubert Theatre reserves the right to comply with such changes and recommendations, including the reinstatement of mask wearing and/or vaccination/test requirements.
If patrons feel sick or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, Shubert Theatre asks that patrons prioritize their health and the health of others by staying home.
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