Art of African descent will be celebrated through music, dance, film, and a variety of interactive activities this July during the 27th annual National Black Arts Festival.
Atlanta will serve as the backdrop for the festival this year and has since the festival began.
Founded in 1987, the NBAF uses fashion, dance, film, literature, music, theatre and visual arts to put the spotlight on the art and culture of people of African descent.
Before the Festival began for the 9th year in a row, department store Neiman Marcus’ (Peach Tree location) hosted Fine Art and Fashion at the beginning of the year.
The annual event serves as a benefit for the NABF and recognizes artists in fields ranging from performing arts to fashion while raising money for the festival.
From July to September the festival will give those who attend the chance to dive head first into a variety of art.
The focus of the 2015 NABF will be African dance , its evolution from the 18th century to today and its global impact through the festival’s performances and interactive workshops.
When the Festival kicks off July 11 participants will be able to discover the influence Africa has had on art through the Galas, Film Screenings, Poetry Slams and many other events.
The NABF is the one of the oldest organizations in the United States that highlights art of African descent and its influence on modern artists.
Tickets to the events being offered during this year’s festival will range from $5 to $500+ and it will run from July 11 to September 19. Click here to checkout the festival line up.
Alvin Ailey Dancers Perform to Beyonce’s ‘Freedom’
Harry Belafonte once said, “Artists are the gatekeepers of truth. We are civilization’s anchor. We are the compass for humanity’s conscience.”
This past year we’ve seen a multitude of artists from every field, be those gatekeepers of truth. In films like the upcoming, powerful “Birth Of A Nation,” or in music with Beyonce’s unapologetically black Lemonade album, to game-changing Broadway shows like Hamilton, Shuffle Along and Eclipsed, it’s no secret black artistry went to a whole new level.
So what do we do then when our nation is at its most intense, chaotic state? Like many, art is the first thought. Whether it be poetry, music, dance, spoken work, theater, photography -our art allows us to express ourselves wholeheartedly without restrictions.
At least that’s what Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company member and choreographer Sean Aaron Carmon and fellow Alvin Ailey dancers did. Last week they took social media by storm, with their powerful one-minute choreographed dance to Beyonce’s “Freedom.”
A dance the NYTimes deems as a protest dance, Carmon and Co. pour their hearts and souls into every synchronized movement they make, even in the improvised solos where dancers were given free reign to express whatever they were feeling.
Carmon told dancers “I don’t have to tell you a single thing about what you should do. We all know what’s going on in our country. We all have our visceral responses to it. I’m going to put the music on. Give me everything you have.”
They gave everything and then some.Check out the video below.
FREEDOM, FREEDOM, I CAN’T MOVE. FREEDOM, CUT ME LOOSE! FREEDOM, FREEDOM, WHERE ARE YOU?! CAUSE [WE] NEED FREEDOM, TOO! ・・・ Choreography by #ALVINAILEY dancer Sean Aaron Carmon @hookedonsean; featuring Ailey dancers @collintheshots2 @courtesy_ofhtwn @jagreen711 @yannicklebrun @constancestamatiou @thedanielharder @sfigg_udigg @jacquelinh @danfreaka @chlvrmntro @jerms83 @cherrysunblush Elisa Clark, Belen Pererya, Kanji Segawa and Fana Tesfagiorgis ・・・ Music by @beyonce feat. @kendricklamar
Misty Copeland to Dance in Disney’s The Nuctracker Film
American Ballet Theatre principle dancer Misty Copeland will join the cast of Disney’s live action film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. She’ll portray the leading ballerina role in the only dance sequence in the movie.
Lasse Hallström directs the project, based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, also the basis for the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky ballet we all know and love.
Last summer, Copeland leaped onto the map when ABT promoted her to principle dancer, becoming the first Black woman in the 76-year history to hold the title.
Last Fall she made her Broadway debut in the Tony-nominated revival On the Town for select performances. This week, she prepares to dance Romeo & Juliet at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia.
It appears Copeland has a lot to look forward to within the next year. She launched her first dancewear line, Égal Dance. New Line has found screenwriter Gregory Howard (“Remember the Titans”) to adapt her memoir, “Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” into a film. As reported by Deadline last year, she’s teamed up with writer Tracy Oliver to develop a Fox series set in the world of dance.
A documentary about her life, “A Ballerina’s Tale” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015.