Wagner famously hailed Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony as “the apotheosis of the dance”—but then, he never got a chance to see the African traditional dance showcases of Ologundê, Bonga & the Vodou Drums of Haiti, and Kotchegna Dance Company. Appearing as part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors summer series, the three groups all embrace the rhythmic vitality of drumming as the foundation of their art. The New York–based Ologundê shows off its Afro-Brazilian ties with performance rituals that bring together religion, capoeira, maculêlê (a warrior dance), and Angolan grooves in one breathtaking program. Bonga & the Vodou Drums of Haiti offer up the musical pulse of their island nation, interweaving vodou rhythms and chants with bamboo pipe horns, piano, and conch shells. Last but not least, Kotchegna Dance Company adds a little bit of mystery with the use of elaborate masks and creative footwork from the Ivory Coast.
Sun., Aug. 17, 2 p.m., 2008