Step Afrika! brings stepping to the Mohammed V National Theatre in Rabat, Morocco

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Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Rabat and in partnership with the Fondation Orient-Occident, Step Afrika! performed at the Mohammed V National Theatre in Rabat, Morocco, on June 19, 2013. Performing with the group were a number of drummers and dancers from Sub-Saharan Africa, many living as refugees in Morocco, as well as a troupe of deaf drummers from Morocco and a traditional Moroccan Gnaoua group.


Step Afrika! Performs at the Mohammed V National Theatre

U.S. Embassy Morocco, June 24, 2013


Morocco and its African roots

By Erin Geneva, Morocco World News, Rabat, June 21, 2013

“On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to be taken by a few of my co-workers to a portion of the Rabat Africa festival. I couldn’t more strongly recommend attending this festival.


Not only was I impressed by this festival, I was also surprised by its existence. Basically, before arriving in Morocco I had expected to only encounter Arab culture. However, in many ways (especially by interning at an association concerned with preserving Amazigh culture) I’ve realized that this was a false expectation.


Although I know that a lot of African migrants come to Morocco from more Southern countries to study or work, or simply to stay until they can make their way into Europe- I did not realize until I got here how many of such migrants there would actually be. As life must have been tough enough for these people to decide to leave home, I’m sure it didn’t get any easier when they found themselves in a strange country, without their families, potentially unable to speak the local language and unfamiliar with Moroccan culture. I was impressed to see there was an event to give them recognition.

The portion of the festival I attended included a lot of African dancing. I saw children of all ages, from Morocco and other African countries perform traditional as well as modern dances. My favorite performance was done by an African American dance group, called Step Afrika!. They danced to beats that they made themselves as they danced; clapping, stomping, and singing as they performed. Very unique.

It reminded me that the entire purpose of the festival was to celebrate African culture wherever it exists, both at home and abroad, and this was well illustrated in the collaboration between Step Afrika! and the rest of the African dancers for the finale of their performance. This also reminded me, how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to visit this diverse and fascinating continent.”



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Founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika! is the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Under Mr. Williams’ leadership, stepping has evolved into one of America’s cultural exports, touring more than 60 countries across the globe. To share your Step Afrika! story, visit Step Afrika!'s 30th Anniversary Timeline is made possible by the generous funding of Bloomberg Philanthropies, with additional support from the Mellon Foundation and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

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