As part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration, Giwayen Mata will present DanceAfrica Atlanta on June 13 – 16, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. DanceAfrica was created by the renowned Chuck Davis, founding director of the African American Dance Ensemble (AADE). In February 1977, the Chuck Davis Dance Company performed in a constructed African village in the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Lepercq Space. Based on the success of the engagement, DanceAfrica debuted the following spring beginning with a day-long African bazaar. Arthur Hall, Charles Moore, Chuck Davis, Dinizulu, and the International Afrikan American Ballet participated in the festival, which offered five performances in the BAM Playhouse and culminated with all five companies—approximately 70 performers—on the Opera House stage.
A festival was born, growing into the country’s largest annual celebration of African and African American dance and, adding dates in other cities such as Chicago; Washington, DC; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; and many others. Dallas recently made the festival an annual event. DanceAfrica is BAM's longest running performance series—and has become a Memorial Day weekend tradition in Brooklyn. Weddings, christenings, and other ceremonies have taken place during DanceAfrica—transcending performance and becoming ritual—a community’s celebration of African identity. In the 1980s Chuck Davis added master classes in African movement and music. DanceAfrica has shown that “traditional” African dance is not fixed in time and remains tremendously inclusive and diverse, and that even the most cutting-edge choreography can contain African influences. DanceAfrica embodies tradition, but also a spirit of change and growth reaching back into the past and forward into the future, embracing the links between cultures across the African Diaspora, always bearing the message, “Peace, love, and respect for everybody!”
Giwayen Mata will collaborate with local performing artists to present the 36th annual presentation of this event to coincide with the
20th Anniversary of Giwayen Mata.