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Dances of the African Diaspora Presented by Manalapan Arts Council (MAC)

Saturday February 8, 2020
1:00 PM until 4:00 PM

Presented by the Manalapan Arts Council.

The slave trade started in the 1500s dispersing Africans around the globe. From South and North America, to Europe and the Caribbean, Africans brought dance to these new lands. As the freedom to practice some traditions was diminished, their dances merged with pre-existing styles to create new ones. Despite repressive laws within the slavocracy, Africans, and people of African descent, found ways to adapt their dancing and singing traditions.

On the African Continent, dance is not simply a form of entertainment. Dance styles vary across tribes and countries and are steeped in ritual and tradition. Historically, many tribes used dance as forms of prayer, rites of passages, celebrations of births and marriages; and for emotional communication, such as in times of war. Many tribes have dedicated persons who pass along traditional dances to preserve the authenticity of the forms.

Over time, the evolution of dance within the Diaspora has resulted in famous dances, such as the Lindy Hop, Tap, Jitterbug, the Twist, Reggae, Charleston, Modern African Dance, Capoeira, and Hip Hop, to name a few. These dance forms speak a common language and are used to communicate, to heal, and to remember. Many of these dances evolved into popular social dancing around the world, blurring the boundaries between races and cultures.

This event will examine some of the dances of the African Diaspora, enhanced by performances in various dance forms.

The Manalapan Arts Council is a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting arts of varying genres to the community.  New members with visionary ideas and the motivation to move them forward are always welcome!

Program is free. All are welcome.

Doors open at 12 noon. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. We request that participants do not hold or reserve seats for others. Library staff reserves a number of seats for a limited time.

Location: Headquarters
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