Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2015-16 season on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 2pm with Step Afrika! The dancers of Step Afrika! use their bodies as instruments, combining traditional step choreography with other styles including tap, modern, and hip hop to create an enthralling, high-energy performance. Opening for the company will be the award-winning, Brooklyn-based step group Regime. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-6pm).
As an art form, stepping is an important part of America’s artistic and cultural heritage. In stepping, the body is used as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and the spoken word. It is based on a long and rich tradition in African-based communities that uses movement, words and sounds to communicate allegiance to a group. It draws movements from African foot dances, such as Gumboot, originally conceived by miners in South Africa as an alternative to drumming, which was banned by authorities.
The stepping tradition in the United States grew out of song and dance rituals practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, beginning in the early 1900s. Today, stepping is not only practiced on college campuses; it can also be found in schools, churches, and community organizations around the country. The form is also spreading its wings to new venues and participants, such as Latino and Asian American Greek-letter organizations.
About Step Afrika!
Founded in December 1994, Step Afrika! (C. Brian Williams, Founder and Executive Director; Jakari Sherman, Artistic Director) is the first professional company in the world dedicated to the art of stepping, a unique art form originating in African American fraternities and based in rich African traditions. The company is celebrated worldwide for its efforts to promote an appreciation for stepping and the dance tradition’s use as an educational tool for young people. Step Afrika! reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year and has performed on many stages in North & South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
Based in Washington, DC, Step Afrika! is DC’s first and only Cultural Ambassador representing the city and nation at events around the world. The company completes an annual 50-city tour of colleges and theaters from Maine to Mississippi and is a national model for the use of stepping in education, espousing themes such as teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding.
Step Afrika! is a frequent partner of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Washington Performing Arts Society and has graced some of America’s most prestigious stages from the White House to New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Founded in 2011, Regime Performing Arts is an award-winning step team from the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, composed mostly of students from Brooklyn Collegiate High School. They are ranked as the number-one step team in New York City, recently winning the 2015 Step Competition portion of the McDonalds Gospelfest. Regime has performed across the country in schools, prisons, churches, and other public forums, and have also been seen at the Barclays Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Apollo Theatre, and Madison Square Garden. They are currently ranked third in the nation by Youth Step USA.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts’ presentation of Step Afrika! is made possible, in part, by Macy’s, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and The Harkness Foundation for Dance. Promotional support for Step Afrika! has been provided by Youth Step USA.
Visit BrooklynCenter.org for a complete season lineup.
Multibuy discounts (four or more shows) save 15% off individual ticket prices (not applicable for International Women of Reggae or Alexander, Who’s Not… Going to Move). Multibuyers enjoy flexible ticket exchanges and discounted parking for purchased performances. A 50% discount for children ages 12 and under is offered for select performances. Discounts are also available for seniors, students, Brooklyn College faculty/staff/alumni, active/retired military personnel, and groups. $10 student rush tickets available day-of-show.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College
2 train to Brooklyn College/Flatbush Avenue
Online orders: BrooklynCenter.org
Box Office: 718-951-4500, Tuesday-Saturday, 1pm-6pm
Groups of 15 or more: 718-951-4600 x3331
About Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
Founded in 1954, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College presents outstanding performing arts and arts education programs, reflective of Brooklyn’s diverse communities, at affordable prices. Each season, Brooklyn Center welcomes over 65,000 people to the 2,400 seat Whitman Theatre, including up to 45,000 schoolchildren from over 300 schools who attend their SchoolTime series, one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the borough.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts’ programs are supported, in part, by public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Brooklyn Center’s 2015-16 Season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Major support for the 2015-16 season is provided by: Brooklyn College, Con Edison, TD Bank, National Grid, Shanachie Entertainment Corp, the Herman Goldman Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Jazz Touring Network, the Alice Lawrence Foundation, the Macy’s Foundation, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the TD Charitable Foundation. Additional support provided by CNG Publications, The Brooklyn Eagle, Brooklyn Media Group, and WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM. The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York Brooklyn is the official hotel of Brooklyn Center’s 2015-16 Season. Backstage catering is graciously provided by Applebee’s. Pianos for select performances provided by Steinway & Sons.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts gratefully acknowledges generous support from New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams; New York City Council Cultural Affairs Commitee Chair Jimmy Van Bramer; New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl.