Do you live in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. metropolitan area? Do you love drums? Then check out Drumfolk by Step Afrika!
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My friend and I love the arts, and I am an avid drum lover as well as history, and this show didn’t disappoint.
Drumfolk is about the Stono Rebellion of 1739, a revolt initiated by 20 enslaved Africans in the then-British colony of South Carolina. It was one of the largest rebellions organized by Africans in the new world. I had never heard of it!
Their defiance led to the devastating Negro Act of 1740, which for starters, removed the Africans’ drums, as well as the right to read and write, and wear clothing “above their stature.”
Or as better said by the artistic director of Step Afrika, Mfon Akpan, “…you may have taken the drum away, but we still are the drum. We’re gonna turn our bodies into this percussive instrument so we’re not silenced.”
I love modern dance and figured that this would be a high-energy performance, and it was. We splurged for front row seats and I could almost reach out and touch the dancers as they leaped, stretched, spun, flipped, crouched, and moved almost faster than I could keep my eyes on them. Unbelievable! Just watching them made me breathless!
Drumfolk, by Step Afrika!, plays at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, through June 26.
Some information above is taken from the program.