Foot & Fiddle Dance Company’s performance of “American Footsteps” introduces three centuries of American folk dance in a dazzling blend of square dancing, tap dancing, Irish step dancing, and Appalachian clogging.
Dance China NY performs dances of different genres, from raucous folk dances of farming villages to gentle classical dances of the Imperial Palaces.
JOURNEY THROUGH THE CARIBBEAN
¡Retumba!, a multi-cultural all-woman ensemble, traces the roots of Afro-Caribbean music and dance, introducing students to the dances of Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
POETS AND PEACEMAKERS
Led by Artistic Director Kim Grier, The Rod Rodgers Dance Company celebrates the creative struggles and landmark achievements of Black heroes in choreographed tributes to Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Duke Ellington, and Harriet Tubman using poetry, music, and when possible, media elements.
BAMBARA DRUM AND DANCE ENSEMBLE
Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble’s exciting performance presents African and Cuban pieces that exemplify traditional cultural values in keeping with its mission to educate through music and dance. The large company includes dancers, musicians and even a stilt walker. Bambara’s leader, Joseph Barnes, excels at making traditional dances relevant and meaningful to contemporary urban audiences in a vibrant, energetic performance that includes audience participation. Through celebrating the beauty and diversity of African dance and music, the company makes cross cultural connections come alive for audiences.
SALUTE TO OUR ANCESTORS
ASE Dance Theater Collective: Artistic Director Adia Whittaker and her company of dancers and musicians present traditional and original movement theater exploring “neo-folkloric” expressions of the African American experience. The company includes pieces based on traditional Haitian dance and music, African American social dance and song, as well as contemporary urban, spoken word performance. Audience members have a chance to participate in several songs and dances.
A performance by the Batingua Arts ensemble which explores the cultural connection of West African dance to contemporary styles. Pulsating rhythms, colorful costumes and dynamic dancers captivate audiences as they see how movements and rhythms migrated from Ivory Coast, Mali and Guinea to influence Reggae in Haiti and Soca in Trinidad. Today’s hip hop dance owes much to traditional dance and music, too, as students discover toward the end of this exciting performance which includes opportunity for selected audience members to join the company on stage.
CONNECTING CULTURES THROUGH DANCE
Batingua Arts explores similarities and differences among ballet from France, rakshaki from the Middle East, traditional dance of West Africa and contemporary American styles in a dynamic performance by members of the Batingua Arts ensemble. The expressive possibilities of the human body responding to music and the cultural context of the dances help students to make a personal connection to these different dance styles.
CANCIONES LATINOAMERICANAS: JOURNEY IN SONG THROUGH LATIN AMERICA
A Gonzalez Band workshop and performance is a fun, easy way to get into the music featuring songs by Rubén Gonzalez and the Latin American repertoire. Musicians demonstrate the various percussion and string instruments of the ensemble and encourage people to sing along and dance. Through call and response and musical play, the Gonzalez Band introduces song lyrics, rhythmic patterns and claves of the World Children Repertoire.
BOMBA Y PLENA
The musicians and dancers of Los Pleneros de la 21 introduce students to traditional Puerto Rican music and dance in a dynamic presentation of bomba and plena, explaining the African roots of these cultural traditions. Student volunteers learn a simple bomba step, and play plena rhythms on tambourine-like panderetas.
MEXICO BEYOND MARIACHI
This delightful program showcases the vast cultural expression of Mexico. Each region from the country has its own rituals, celebrations, costumes, language and music. The ensemble’s mission is to encourage students to look beyond stereotypes and into the fascinating story and history of the Mexican people. The concert will bring students on a journey that begins over 500 years ago, first with the Aztec civilization, then continuing in a chronological order showing how time, geography, climate and foreign influence have affected folk traditions to the present day.
INTRO TO THE STRING QUARTET
The West Village Quartet performs works by composers as diverse as Mozart, Scott Joplin, and Dvorak to illustrate the universal language of music. Members of the quartet provided a glimpse into their lives as performers, and give historical information about their instruments, the music, and the composers.
SWING STREET ENSEMBLE: THE DIXIE RASCALS
Six dynamic musicians trace the origins of tap-your-feet, clap-your-hands, grin-on-your-face Dixieland music. They perform in period costume on traditional Dixieland instruments: trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo, tuba and drums and focus on the role of each instrument in the ensemble. Emphasis is placed on the importance of listening to each other in the music as in every day conversation. Special attention is devoted to the cultural place of the music in “life events”, New Orleans traditions, and a celebration of the human spirit.
MARIACHI TAPATIO DE ALVARO PAULINO
Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino offers musical prowess with a 5 or 8 piece ensemble comprised of remarkably talented musicians with an immense desire to promote the beauty and splendor of mariachi music. The performance will provide professional instrumental demonstrations, while showcasing a repertoire that emphasizes the traditional and popular mariachi music forms, including sones, rancheras, huapangos, boleros and more. Content focuses on the core of musical instruments traditional to the mariachi ensemble: Guitarrón, Vihuela, Guitar, Harp, Violin, Trumpet and Voice.
INSTRUMENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Babá Alájé and The RingShout takes students on a journey across the world experiencing handcrafted musical instruments and their indigenous cultures. Our lecture and demonstration highlights ancient civilizations in Africa as well as modern cultures of the African Diaspora. This presentation gives students of all ages, an electrifying experience through dynamic music, dance, and constant audience participation engaging students while educating them at the same time.
Taikoza, a Japanese Taiko drum group, demonstrates the powerful rhythms of the taiko drums. Students learn from master Taiko drummer Marco Lienhard about the role of the drum in Japanese culture, and experience the pounding rhythms of the taiko, a large, barrel-like drum that can fill the air with the sounds of rolling thunder.
PICTURES COME TO LIFE
Jeff Hopkins tells stories by quickly sketching, narrating, and acting out characters’ movements and sounds. Jeff draws on wall-sized sheets of mural paper, creating large-scale images that transform and develop over the course of the story. Interactive performances incorporate humor, history, and folklore. His subjects range from Greek mythology and Impressionist painting to baseball and tall tales of the Wild West.
Freestyle Repertory Theatre’s masters of improvisation form competing teams to create scenes, stories, songs, and poems on the spot, based on audience suggestions from poetry, history, and literature.
Performances by Anne Pasquale
They came from all parts of the world: Russia, Italy, China and Latin America. Some came to escape oppression, others just to seek a better way of life. Meet the women who made us Americans, and hear the stories from every point of Liberty’s crown in Liberty Belles.
THE REVOLUTION OF DEBORAH SAMPSON
The story of Deborah Sampson tells the story of America’s birth. At the age of eighteen, when the young woman heard the cry of George Washington, she was prepared to fight and die for her liberty; she dressed as a man and enlisted in the Continental Army. See 18th century America brought to life as Deborah Sampson joins George Washington’s Army for the Revolutionary War.
HELEN AND ME
Blind from the age of two and orphaned by the age of nine, Ms. Sullivan conquered seemingly impossible obstacles and revolutionized the teaching of the deaf and blind. From her own perspective, listen as ‘Teacher’ relates the miraculous work that transformed the life of Helen Keller and has continued to inspire millions.
CALAMITY JANE: THE WOMAN AND HER LEGEND
This is the story of how a young girl from Princeton, Missouri became the legendary Calamity Jane. Martha Jane Cannary, a.k.a. Calamity Jane, was an orphan at the age of fifteen when she dressed as a man to earn a man’s wage. Calamity Jane was one of the Old West’s most colorful characters. Now you can hear her story from her point of view and learn about a time long forgotten. Catch the pioneer spirit and travel the Overland Trail with Calamity Jane!
Storytelling Performances by Joy Kelly Smith
MEMOIR: MY PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
When she entered the first grade, Joy integrated her elementary school in Tennessee. Through her father, a civil rights preacher, she met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when she was 11 years old. In this program, Ms. Smith tells her personal story, along with songs and other tales of the civil rights movement.
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE: RIVERS OF THE WORLD
The largest river of the world is the Nile, but the deepest is the Amazon. The Mississippi River is home to a wide variety of people and animals who live alongside it. Joy Kelly Smith takes inspiration from the rivers of the world as she shares stories and songs about these magical environments.
STORIES FROM THE AMERICAS
Joy Kelly Smith, whose great-grandmother was Cherokee, has two performances focusing on American themes. In one, she shares Native American stories and songs. In the second, she tells stories and sings songs from both North and South America – from Cajun tales to stories from the Amazon.
STORIES WITH SPECIAL THEMES
Joy Kelly Smith performs a variety of songs and stories appropriate to holidays throughout the year: Scary Stuff – a program of stories and songs featuring ghosts, witches, vampires and other eerie phenomena; Winter Holidays Around the World – stories and songs from the traditions of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and Diwali; and African and African American Stories and Songs – an exploration of the vast diversity within the African diaspora through stories and songs.
Carmen Rivera and Candido Tirado from Educational Play Productions Present:
CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE
(*this play is a more mature story about bullying*)
Based on real life stories, “Can’t take it Anymore” explores the pervasive world of bullying, including cyber bullying, in the teenage community. This play explores how the young man being bullied, his friend, the bully and the silent observer, deal with and ultimately take responsibility for their part in the cruel act of bullying.
Three friends from the inner city make a questionable decision to sell drugs, subsequently leading them into a world of violence. The outcome is tragic, but a magical force intervenes giving them a second chance to revisit that decision.