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Monday, October 24, 2016

Step Afrika!

When my spouse and I were negotiating the decision about what tickets to buy for the upcoming theater season at our wonderful local venue, we each chose something that we wanted to see based on the description but in reality  knew nothing about. Step Afrika was my choice.
There were two things about this that worked very much in my favor.  One is that the group is a step group--I did not know that from the short identifying paragraph about them in the season's program, but both I and my youngest son love to watch step dancing in movies, and it was even better in person.  The other was that given the fact that I was buying tickets early, I was able to get truly excellent up close seats, where we could be absorbed in the pieces.

I really loved everything about the performance.  The group did interpretive dances, some with music and some without, and all were based on the paintings of Jacob Lawrence.  Lawrence's sixty or more panels worth of paintings about the African American migration northward in America won him recognition at a very young age, and images of the paintings that inspired each dance sequence were projected on screens behind them.  Stunning.  And the history of the migration and the changes that came about as a result are important to remember and think about as we move forward in a time renewed visible racial discord in our country.

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