Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum Ensemble (pictured) preserves, presents and builds upon the dance and music of Africa and the African Diaspora. Founded in 1969 by Baba Robert Crowder and inspired by the voices of Africa, the company is known for infusing African dance with urban American flair. The company has graced the stages of major venues from New York to Guinea, distinguishing itself with beautiful costumes, a thrilling percussion battery and dynamic choreography. Kùlú Mèlé boasts a rich repertoire of authentic, folkloric dance from Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, and Cuba featuring high-energy performances that will get audiences up on their feet and dancing in the aisles.
Maria Bauman founded MBDance in 2007, creating duets & small group dances from a profound sense of physical & emotional power, a desire for equity and a fascination with intimacy & relationship. Utilizing linear and circular narrative, MBDance’s work is also influenced by Bauman’s extensive study of capoeira. MBDance’s motto is “Sweat your truth!” and the choreography incorporates elements of powerful, spatial fluidity and floorwork informed by an authentic sense of self so that the work wrestles with real-life experiences such as racialized police brutality or love between women. Recently, The New York Times described MBDance’s work, Concerning Proximity as “texturally rich in its gestural language, and beautifully performed.”