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African Dance

Offerings Education Main 2
  • Culture | Africa
  • Format | Workshop, School Assembly, Cultural Field Trip, After School Program
  • Discipline | Dance
  • Level | All Ages, Pre-K to Grade 2, Grades 3 to 5, Grades 6 to 8, Grades 9 to 12

African dance is an expression and a part of ritual and ceremonial life that is vital to African culture. Students explore dance as a reflection of this culture, working collaboratively with each other to create and to present original dances, inspired by traditional African dance techniques.

Artists

Jerbean Gilkes

Jerbean Gilkes is a dance teacher and choreographer based in New York City. Jerbean has been a member of Symphony Space’s Global Arts program since 1989, as a part of the African dance curriculum. He specializes in year-long residencies at public schools primarily in Brooklyn. Jerbean is a former member of Barbados Dance Theatre Company and the Gallman’s Newark Dance Company and has worked with the Carribean Dance Company in St. Croix. Jerbean has taught in New York City public schools as well as local colleges. He has been a member of the Charles Moore Dance Theatre since 1986.

Charles Moore Dance Theatre

Charles Moore Dance Theatre, founded in 1974 by the late Charles Moore with artistic director Ella Moore. The company creates and reconstructs dances, most notably “Shango,” the signature dance of world-renowned choreographer Katherine Dunham. The company’s African, Carribean and African-American dance and drumming programs have been seen on the stages of Symphony Space, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and in Central Park, and its work has been broadcast on the PBS series, Great Performances. Ms. Moore holds a B.A. in Arts and Education from Howard University.

Caren Calder

Caren Calder is a native of Harlem with a BS in Dance from SUNY Brockport. Caren has been working with Symphony Space’s Global Arts program since 1989, specializing in African music and dance. Caren has a dance repertoire ranging from modern and improvisational dance to West African dance. She has performed with the Chuck Davis Dance Company, Forces of Nature Dance Company, and Harambee Dance Company. Caren is a member of Women of the Calabash, founded by Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, which has brought her vocal and percussion talents to Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Symphony Space.

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