Spotlight Series:


Performance and Post-Performance Conversation With Step Afrika! – “Symphony in Step”

Saturday, August 29, 6 p.m.

Center Stage Theater, 1374 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta

In keeping with the 2015 program season focused on dance, the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) welcomes Step Afrika! to Atlanta for a Spotlight Series performance, post-performance talk-back and for a celebration of their 20th anniversary.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Step Afrika!, a Washington DC-based company, has paved the way as the first professional company in the world dedicated to the African-derived tradition of stepping, popularized in films like “Drumline” (2002) and “Stomp the Yard” (2007).

A groundbreaking merger of the African-derived tradition of stepping and classical music is offered to Atlanta audiences in a special program that brings a national performing arts company together in a unique partnership with two esteemed local organizations – a symphony orchestra and a faith based organization. With the presentation of “Symphony in Step,” the National Black Arts Festival and Step Afrika! have aligned their missions, which is focused on creative collaborations, to offer an extraordinary and never-to-be-repeated cultural experience.

For the “Symphony in Step” program and under the artistic direction of conductor Juan R. Ramírez, the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra (ACSO) performs a new classical work written for Step Afrika!. by renowned composer  Randall Craig Fleischer with a score in four parts: “Kenako,” “Zulu,” “Wade” and “Nxt Step,” Founded in 1958, ASCO holds dual missions of providing symphonic orchestral training and performance opportunities for serious Atlanta-area musicians and offering quality, free symphonic performances for audiences throughout Georgia.

The “Symphony in Step” program also includes a special appearance by the Alpharetta-based St. James UMC Sanctuary Choir under the direction of Pastor John Paul McGee and Music, Worship & Arts Director Willie Nelson III. With a repertory encompassing the spectrum of African American sacred music, the flagship choral ensemble of St. James United Methodist Church was recognized as Atlanta’s Best Choir at the 2010 Gospel Choice Awards. For “Symphony in Step,” the Sanctuary Choir performs three spirituals, “Wade in the Water,” “Take Me to the Water” and “Tell Me How I Got Over.”