The company dedicated to the art of stepping will hold a three-day residency at the center which will include one public performance on Saturday, April 1 at 8 p.m.
The repertoire for the Brooklyn residency includes “Tribute,” a piece choreographed by Jakari Sherma, paying homage to the American step tradition and its roots in African American fraternities and sororities. Sherman also choreographed the piece “Chicago,” which is a “percussive symphony” that transforms traditional stepping into contemporary performance art, according to the company.
African culture will be explored deeper with performances led by choreographer Jackie Semela. The “Ndlamu” performance will feature a traditional dance of the Zulu people while the “Isicathulo” piece incorporates the South African gumboot dance.
Step Afrika! was founded in 1994 by Howard University graduate C. Brian Williams. Each program the company offers provides educational, motivational and healthy tools for younger audiences. Each year, the company goes on a 50-city tour of colleges and theaters. They have risen to one of the top ten African American dance companies in the country.
Williams first learned to step as a member of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Beta Chapter in 1989. After a fellowship in Southern Africa, he began to research stepping, exploring the many sides of this exciting, yet under-recognized American art form and founded Step Afrika! in 1994. Williams has performed, lectured, and taught in Europe, South & Central America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and throughout the United States.
In addition to their performances, Step Afrika! will conduct a free after-school stepping masterclass on Thursday, March 30 at 3:30 p.m. Additionally, there will be three educational shows for local schoolchildren.
Tickets for the public performance on April 1 are $25 and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org, or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 between Tuesday and Saturday from 1pm to 6pm.