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DanceAfrica Festival at Brooklyn Academy of Music

Monday, May 21---------The BAMcinématek, the repertory film program at BAM Rose Cinemas, will present a series of films from May 23 to 30 to coincide with the mainstage festivities for 30 Years of DanceAfrica. The series kicks off on May 23 and 24 with the critically acclaimed Bamako (2006) directed by Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako. Set in Mali , Sissako’s film employs Brechtian techniques to stage a trial against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in a small village.

The animated family film Kirikou and the Wild Beasts (Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages) (2006) by Bénédicte Galup and Michel Ocelot screens May 25 through May 30. A follow-up to the smash hit Kirikou and the Sorceress (Kirikou et la sorcière) (1998), the film highlights its lovable child protagonist in four new stories. The films screen as part of The New York African Film Festival, which was established in 1993. This program of screenings and panel discussions is presented annually, presenting feature films and short format works by African and African Diaspora directors. In recent years the Festival has been hosted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

The DanceAfrica Festival, which runs from May 20 to 30 is BAM’s longest running performance series—and one of America’s largest and most vibrant celebrations of African and African American dance, music, and culture. Created in 1977 to heighten awareness of African culture, the festival has evolved into a high-spirited Memorial Day Weekend tradition that brings together the entire community. Under the artistic direction of Chuck Davis, 30 Years of DanceAfrica: Remember! Honor! Respect! An African Dance Odyssey, features five popular companies making return visits: Ndere Troupe (Uganda), Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble (Bronx), New York-based Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company, Philadelphia-based Kulu Mele African American Dance Ensemble, and Sabar Ak Ru Afriq Dance Theatre (Brooklyn). The week-long celebration, centered around the dance performances at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, also includes DanceAfrica masterclasses; the popular outdoor DanceAfrica Bazaar with over 200 vendors offering crafts, food, and fashion and an outdoor performance stage, with music and dance throughout the day; a free sculpture exhibition of artwork by BAM/Restoration students (in the BAMgarden between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street at St. Felix Street); an art display at MoCADA (80 Hanson Place); a film series at BAM Rose Cinemas; and a dance party at BAMcafé with live music. For more information, log on to the BAM website:
Sandy Mandelberger, Film New York Editor

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Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

The Ultimate Guide to the New York Film, Video and New Media Scene.

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