Dance Africa extends legacy of diaspora

AFRO CUBAN—Liethis Hechavarris of the Oyu Oro Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble. (Photos by Gail Manker)

If you have a trip to the Motherland on your bucket list, the Legacy Arts Project served up a taste of the diaspora when it presented the third Dance African Pittsburgh program at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture on April 26.
Cultural immersion was immediate; as soon as you walked into the lobby as Fashion Africana models offered a visual appetizer in costumes steeped in African cultures and drummers provided the beats to get your mind and soul into the proper spirit for the festivities to follow.
In keeping with tradition, Baba Chuck Davis, founder and artistic director of the African American Dance Ensemble and Dance Africa, introduced the evening and issued a call for the elders in attendance to join in a processional to the stage.
The Legacy Arts Project dancers then presented Lamban, a celebratory dance from the old Mali Empire of African as a welcome to the gala.
Immediately followed a memorial rite to honor those who’ve transitioned to the “Ancestral Grounds.” The audience was invited to participate by calling the names of those they wanted to acknowledge.


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