All Together Now

Fall showcase mines the dance world for talent


DancenOw/NYC Festival
Dance Theater Workshop

Music and the making of it are the substance of the terrific and rousing finale by eight members of Step Afrika. The slow singing of "Wade in the Water" by a choir-robed quartet (C. Brian Williams, Cornelius Bates, Tamika McIntosh, and lead singer Sumayya Ali) and Brian McCollum's moment of silent prayer as a black-robed preacher don't fully prepare us for what happens next. McCollum dons rubber boots with a rings of bells around one ankle and starts making the floor resound with his foot rhythms. The piece melds spirituals, gumboot dancing of South Africa, tap, and the form of stepping created by African American college students. Delonte Briggs joins McCollum. Mfon Akpan, wearing a long white dress, taps on a piece of black marley, and high-heeled Kirstin Ledford does her own intricate stepping. The singers start moving too, and together the eight create a jubilation of rhythm and spirit that harks back to the essence of dancing: people moving together in harmony for the greater good.

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