Poetic Lenz, Volume 2 ©2017
Poetic Lenz - A Storyteller's Bi-Annual for Photographers and Writers, Volume 2
"Art & Dance" featuring Step Afrika!
"Documenting Step Afrika!" is an Arts & Humanities documentary photo project coming soon.
Step Afrika! (est 1994) is the first professional dance company of choreographers, musicians, and professional dancers dedicated to presenting performances, residencies, and workshops based in the tradition of stepping. “Stepping” is a combination of percussive dance and traditional African dance movements developed by Black Greek Letter Organizations. Step Afrika! has expanded elements of the traditional step show into full 90-minute+ performances. The company’s repertoire includes South African gumboot dance, jazz, tap, hip hop, and ballet.
The Company is based in Washington DC with an international touring schedule and respected reputation that also includes notable performances at the White House for President Obama and The First Lady. Step Afrika! has the distinguished honor of being cultural ambassadors with an interactive exhibit at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture - Smithsonian.
Recently the founder, C. Brian Williams, and I partnered to document their full-length performances in a 3- or 4-part photo/essay chronicling the emergence of Step Afrika! through to their signature performance, “The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence,” currently on tour. In honor of Lawrence’s acclaimed artistic depiction of the migration of black Americans from the South to the North, Step Afrika! has interpreted parts of Lawrence’s series by visually and artistically telling the stories of the people within Lawrence’s images. Using literary references such as The Warmth of Other Suns (Isabel Wilkerson, 2010) and select images from Lawrence’s 60 panels, Step Afrika! has successfully recreated Lawrence’s art in the bodies, movements, colors, and original costume designs. Step Afrika! has partnered with The Phillips Collection and the Washington Performance Arts Center to debut their interpretive performance of Lawrence’s The Migration Series.
See photos documenting “The Migration” performance at: www.hollytomlinphotography.com “Upcoming Projects / Documenting Step Afrika!”
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