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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

About Last Night: DanceAfrica Opening Celebration Party

Dancers turned the reception into a virtuosic showcase.

The opening performance of DanceAfrica Sunday afternoon marked the 37th anniversary of the historic festival. In celebration of the event, which featured guest company Groupe Bakomanga from Madagascar, BAM hosted a reception in the Lepercq space.

Ambassador of Madagascar to the United Nations, Zina Andrianarivelo-Razafy, with guests and artists.
The relationship between BAM and DanceAfrica is deep. Founded in 1977 by artistic director Chuck Davis, DanceAfrica, a showcase of dance from Africa and the African diaspora, is the longest-running performance series produced by BAM.

This year's party was somewhat bittersweet with the announcement that Chuck Davis will retire in 2016, to be succeeded by Abdel R. Salaam. The party was nonetheless celebratory, full of good food, fun people, and—of course—great dancing.

The show's exuberant energy moved to the after party!
There were plenty of special guests throughout the evening, including the Samuel H. Scripps Scholarship award winners (who were announced during the show),  Scripps alumni, and all the performers and artists from the show.

The 2014 Samuel H. Scripps Scholars with Baba Chuck Davis, BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins, and BAM Board member and Scripps Scholarship founder Richard Feldman. Congratulations to this year's winners!
The ample food spread was full of Brooklyn flavor, featuring cookies from Cousin John’s Bakery, chocolate-drizzled corn bread from Madecasse Madagascar Chocolate, ice cream from Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, and a custom cake from Doc D Southern Desserts.

Baba Chuck Davis with some of the artists. The cake was donated by Doc D. Southern Desserts. 
BAM would like to thank all of the incredible sponsors of the event, as well Fleurs Bella for the d├ęcor. See you again next year—can’t wait for 38!

All photos by Elena Olivo.

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