'Dance Africa' festival returns to in-person celebrations for its 45th year

People from all over the world gathered to celebrate African, Caribbean and African American culture.

News 12 Staff

May 30, 2022, 1:59 AM

Updated 748 days ago

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The Brooklyn Academy of Music's iconic festival "Dance Africa" returned to in-person celebrations of all things Africa for its 45th year on Sunday.
People from all over the world gathered to celebrate African, Caribbean and African American culture.
The annual festival surrounded the Brooklyn Academy of Music headquarters and stretched across blocks throughout Fort Greene.
The festival featured over 150 vendors that offered African performances, cuisine, jewelry and more.
"When it started 45 years ago, it really celebrated African American companies that were learning African dance and culture, and so this year, the 45th year, it's all African American companies again," explained Coco Killingsworth, vice president of Creative Social Impact, Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Dancers took the stage through the doors of the Peter Jay Sharp building. The performances were ticket-admission only, but the outdoor bazaar did not disappoint attendees.
"I'm getting emotional. It's beauty, and dancing, and community and that's what's so special about it. It brings us all together," said Valerie Fields, president of Ashanti Fields Collection.
Fields said her family-owned business has participated in "Dance Africa" for the last 30 years.
Fields sources authentic fabrics all the way from Ghana for her pieces. Many of them, she said, are imprinted with African Adinkra symbols that represent concepts like unity, something she said the community was missing until all came together to celebrate in person again.
"We have longed for this. It was something missing, not being able to be here and now that we're all joined together, I think the community... just really special. Really special," Fields enthused.
Dance Africa will wrap up Monday night.
For more on the festival, follow this link.


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