Thursday, February 21, 2013

Step Afrika -- storytelling and dance to celebrate Black History Month

Cal State Monterey Bay continues its celebration of Black History Month today, with a presentation of Step Afrika when the group visits CSU Monterey Bay at 7 p.m. Thursday Feb. 21, in the World Theater.

Step Afrika is the first professional company devoted to stepping, a unique dance tradition created by African American college students. The body is used as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and spoken word.

The tradition grew out of the song and dance rituals practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities in the early 1900s. Moviegoers got their first glimpse of stepping in Spike Lee's 1988 film "School Daze.”

The performance will start at 7 p.m. in CSUMB’s World Theater, located on Sixth Avenue near A Street. Tickets are $15 and are available by calling the box office at 582-4580 or here . Seating is general admission.

Also celebrating Black History Month: NuBiAh, a Broadway-caliber musical, will be staged at CSU Monterey Bay’s University Center on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.

NuBiAh is a spoken-word musical that dramatizes the history of African kings and queens, with an emphasis on the strong principles and character traits that made them legendary. The play is based on a bedtime story and a coloring book written by Tommy Jones.

Jones is executive producer and artistic director of the stage play. His impetus for writing the musical was a desire to give African American children and young adults a keener sense of identity and self-worth.

The play features original choreography, music, dance, and spoken-word poetry. The play aims to inspire the audience members to find their passion and follow their dream.

The University Center is located on Sixth Avenue, near the intersection with B Street. Driving directions and a campus map are available here. The performance is free, but visitors must purchase a parking permit for $2.

More information is available from the Cross Cultural Center at 582-4676.

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