|Chuck Davis Dance Company, circa 1970s|
These activities laid the groundwork for what would come to be known as the first DanceAfrica: the February 1977 residency of the Chuck Davis Dance Company in the Lepercq space at BAM. Continuing its community-oriented work, CDDC added a new element to their mission: to promote the celebration of African heritage, which emerged as the hallmark of DanceAfrica.
|Chuck Davis, 1977|
In essence, you are visitors to our village which is wherever we are. We welcome you with Dyembes (Drums) and Eparoro (Chant). Through the chant we ask that you not only enjoy your stay with us but form with us a comradeship that will remain a lasting association.And indeed the association has been long lasting: for the past 35 years each spring has brought to the Brooklyn community a celebration of African identity and heritage, as Chuck Davis has expanded his metaphorical village into a real community. Starting from the basis of his own company, Davis has built a network of African and African-inspired dance ensembles from around the world, which perform at BAM and other venues across the US year after year. And this year is doubly significant: not only is it the 35th anniversary of DanceAfrica but Chuck Davis is celebrating his 75th year on this planet. As Davis himself would say, “peace, love, and respect” goes out to all members of the DanceAfrica community past and present in this milestone year.
|Members of CDDC on BAM's roof, 1979. Photo: Chuck Davis.|