Washington DC

Step Afrika! celebrates their 30th anniversary at Arena Stage

The dance company which incorporates stepping, a traditional African American style of dancing, returns with a new show.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Step Afrika! is back in Washington D.C. to celebrate its 30th anniversary at Arena Stage.

Founder C. Brian Williams and some of the company’s troop members stopped by NBC4 to share the theme of their new show “The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence.”

The production tells the story of the Great Migration, a pivotal moment in American history when African Americans left the South for the North, according to Williams.

Jacob Lawrence is a well-known African American painter who created the series “The Migration Series,” depicting the Great Migration era. The collection of all 60 panels is on display at the Phillips Collection in D.C.

“Step Afrika! is so honored to be able to interpret his work and bring those paintings to life,” Williams said. “So if you love the visual arts, if you love dance, if you love music, I think this show has so many elements in it that is really a must-see production.”

Stepping is an important part of African American culture and it plays a big role in storytelling in their shows.

“Step is an art form created by African fraternities and sororities,” Williams said. “Step Afrika! is the first professional company to demonstrate stepping’s unlimited artistic possibilities and to really introduce stepping to the American Theater.”

Williams said that the production allows the company to expand on the type of stepping he did back at Howard University. When attending the HBCU, he learned how to step as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

The show “The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence” will be performed at Arena Stage until July 14.

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