Step Afrika

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Step Afrika

For my first site visit I went to the Step Afrika performance at CSUMB’s world theatre. Step Afrika is a professional company that dedicates their performances to the tradition of stepping. The company Step Afrika was founded in 1994 in Washington DC. Step Afrika reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year and has performed on many stages in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Before going to see the show Step Afrika, I had already had it set in my mind that it would be a boring traditional black history month show. WRONG! Once the show began I was very mind blown by the performances. Instead of sitting back and watching the show like a normal audience, the cast of Step Afrika did a lot of interacting with the audience and getting us involved with stepping as well. Out of all the performances the cast did, my favorite step was the Gumboot Dance. The gumboot dance originated from black miners in South Africa who were restricted from drumming by authorities. Therefore the miners used their boots as an alternative for a drum and while they worked they sang along. The cast of step Afrika boots had bells attached to them adding a distinct timbre as they stomped their feet on the ground. The bells attached to the boots were also used as a form of communication for the black miners; the sound of the bells would be a code or a different calling to say something to another person a short distance away. The performance also reminded me of our first day in MPA class, having different groups in the room clap with different rhythms and then bringing all the different clapping rhythms together as one. In the future I would love to see more performances by Step Afrika. Photo with Cast Member of Step Afrika

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