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DanceAfrica comes to Atlanta

By Kalin Thomas Staff Writer | 6/7/2013, 9:37 a.m.
Dance Africa Atlanta events will be held on the Atlanta University Center campus and the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel June 13 -16, 2013.

DanceAfrica USA, the country’s largest annual celebration of African and African American dance, is hosting a kickoff reception to announce its Atlanta festival on June 8 (7 - 9 p.m.) at Atlanta’s Resource for Entertainment and Arts (2303 Peachtree Road).

The evening will include: live African drumming and dance, performances by the Denise McClendon Performing Company and a preview of the exhibit saluting the renowned African dance choreographers Pearl Primus and Percival Borde.

Dance Africa Atlanta events will be held on the Atlanta University Center campus and the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel June 13 -16; with workshops, lectures, concerts, demonstrations and the Africa Marketplace.

The festival’s honorary chairman is Martin Luther King III, and its hosts are Giwayen Mata -- the all-woman percussion, dance and vocal ensemble -- and the Atlanta University Center Consortium.

Giwayen Mata will spearhead the performances in celebration of the group’s 20th anniversary.

“We trust that exhibitions of African and African American culture will bring a new day to Atlanta where our art and our culture will be given the respect and appreciation which we so much deserve,” said Omelika Kuumba, Artistic Director of Giwayen Mata.

The highlight will be concerts at Morehouse’s Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel on June 14, with the line-up including:  Giwayen Mata, the Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble, Kan

Kouran West African Dance Company, Soweto Street Beat and more. The festival will culminate with a free Africa Marketplace and the “Elephant Leaders Awards Gala.”

For more information and tickets, visit www.DanceAfricaAtlanta.com.