The New Victory Theater invites you to experience the journey of the millions of African Americans who moved from the rural South to the urban North to rebuild their lives in this polyrhythmic performance from Step Afrika! More…
A beat for every brushstroke, Step Afrika! brings to life Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series, the landmark collection of paintings about the largest demographic transformation in U.S. history. Fusing body percussion, tap, and contemporary dance with live gospel, jazz, and blues, the world's first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping uses uniquely American art forms to tell this uniquely American story. Recommend for ages 7 and up.
"'The Migration's' main attraction is the extraordinarily talented company of dancers who get hands clapping and hearts pounding with their unflaggingly energetic performances...Precise, detailed, and imaginative choreography distinguishes every segment...The show's creators might have incorporated more background...Illustrates for adults as well as kids the power that music, dance, art, and imagination have in finding the strength to triumph over oppression." Full Review
“Jacob Lawrence created ‘The Migration Series’, 60 paintings that depict the mass exodus of African-Americans from the South. The series caused a sensation. In 2011, a dance company called ‘Step Afrika!’ created ‘The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence’, turning visual art into dance theater...It, too, in its own way sensational...Not a direct adaptation, but a striking interpretation...While the entire piece is charged with energy, some moments stand out.” Full Review
"The show provides a visceral history that covers the gamut of emotions from deep sorry to joyous celebration...On lead vocals, Smith took us to church with her stirring and soaring voice as the group performed traditional African-American spirituals...A history in dance and music that honors past generations of Africans and African-Americans, as well as the artistry of Jacob Lawrence, while providing audiences with a thrilling show." Full Review
"A resilient vitality fuels the production...The show lacks the propulsive force of Lawrence’s storytelling. There is not a weak link in this group of dancers and musicians, and each piece of choreography has merit on its own, but the performance’s cumulative effect is less than potent...The lighting consistently overwhelms the projections. Mr. Sherman’s too-bright ending does something similar — diffusing the clarity of the story and sapping its potency." Full Review
for a previous production "There’s a pulse, a simple rhythm. It is both complex syncopation that rushes on, and an inviting and relaxed embrace of the moment. The percussive energy of StepAfrika!...makes the heart beats faster and sharpens the focus...It connects with today’s stories of migration while it examines the past, framing and informing through emotion and movement, and cultivating the essence of generosity with much to be shared with new arrivals." Full Review
for a previous production "The company shows that they are equally adept at many different styles. In addition to the variety of dance and musical styles, the group choreography and understated but evocative costumes meant that every scene was fascinating and beautiful...Every single dancer was a standout! They all brought their own style and excitement to every number...A highly recommended show!" Full Review
for a previous production "It’s easy to forget about modern technology as the beat of the drums envelop you and transport you...Some of the best moments were when the dancers interacted with the audience...When considering the show as a whole, the word that keeps returning to my mind is empowerment. Power exuded from the dancers as they stepped and glided across the stage. Power resonated with every tap of a shoe on the floor...It was simply a glorious experience." Full Review
See it if you like dance and music that honors past generations of Africans and African-Americans, as well as the artistry of Jacob Lawrence.
Don't see it if don't care for music or dancing.
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