Dance Afrikana presents Yemaya and the Flood, a piece on home(s), ancestral memory, and motherhood. Drawing inspiration from the Yoruba orisha Yemaya, it explores water and its many manifestations–libation, pouring, leaking, birth, flooding, and the ocean. This performance is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Wild Life: Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves and as an extended Black History Month program.
About Dance Afrikana
Dance Afrikana, LLC is a professional dance company dedicated to connecting and celebrating Africa and the African Diaspora through dance. It is centered on the idea that dance connects us to our ancestors and therefore to ourselves.
Dance Afrikana, LLC was founded in 2016 by dancer, choreographer, and dance educator Lindsay Gary. Initially focused on Afrobeats workshops and performances, the company grew to specialize in various forms of traditional and contemporary African and African Diaspora dance. In 2017, Dance Afrikana joined the Raw Artists community, performing its first major choreographic work, “Dancing Through the Diaspora,” in both Houston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana. The piece featured Tap dance, Congolese Ndombolo, Hip Hop, traditional Zulu dance, Trinidadian Soca, and Afrobeats. In 2018, Dance Afrikana performed its second major work, entitled “Eleggua.” “Eleggua” is a piece choreographed by Gary during her time as a 2017-2018 Dance Source Houston Artist in Residence. It was originally presented at the 2018 Barnstorm Dance Festival with the assistance of the Dance Source Houston Production Grant. In 2018, Dance Afrikana established a partnership with Young Audiences of Houston, presenting educational dance-theater performances throughout the city of Houston. Gary wrote, directed, and choreographed five programs centered on the history and culture of Africa and its Diaspora: “Moving Through African American History,” “Dancing Through the Diaspora,” “Dancing the Harlem Renaissance,” “Carnival Traditions in the Diaspora,” and “Ending Racism Through Dance.” Later that year, Dance Afrikana, LLC became fiscally sponsored by Fresh Arts. Through this sponsorship, the company presented its first major production, “Dance Afrikana presents Kuumba: A Celebration of Afro-Dance.” This sold-out production celebrated Kwanzaa through one of its seven principles, Kuumba, and featured performances from nearly fifteen companies and individual choreographers from the city of Houston, including the stage premiere of Dance Afrikana’s newest piece, “Afro Beats.” The show was made possible in part through the Houston Arts Alliance City’s Initiative Grant. Most recently, the company launched the Houston Black Dance Collective, a space of unity and collaboration for Houston’s Black dance community, and has received two more grants from the Houston Arts Alliance and Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Additionally, Dance Afrikana produced its first film, “Dance Afrikana presents Kuumba: A Celebration of Afro-Dance 2nd Anniversary,” which premiered at the legendary DeLUXE Theater as a drive-in, and was commissioned by Fresh Arts for a site-specific piece at the historic Brock Park, culminating in an embodied re-enactment choreographic work entitled “In Veneration: Richard Brock.”