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Contemporary dance inspired by Africa comes to Harlem Stage next week

Harlem Stage

Africa is the theme at Harlem Stage next week, when three modern choreographers who were born on the continent share new and re-imagined works as part of E-Moves, the performing arts venue's signature dance series.

Each piece offers a different vision of Africa, drawn from the choreographers' unique perspectives.

Ousmane Wiles (Omari Mizrahi)

Photo: Robert Bader

Born in Zimbabwe, Nora Chipaumire has created “Dark Swan,” a modern solo–performed by dancer Shamar Watt–with a black African woman as the original inspiration. The dance is set to Camille Saint-Saens' classic cello solo, The Swan.

Originally from Burkina Faso, choreographer Lacina Coulibaly performs his ode to Africa, "Sen Kɔrɔ la," together with dancer Ibrahim Zongo. Music includes "Mmenson" by the Pan-Africa Orchestra.

Passion Fruit Dance Company

Photo: Passion Fruit Dance Company

Trained in Contemporary, Vogue, Hip-Hop, West African and House dance styles, the Senegal-born Ousmane Wiles (Omari Mizrahi) premieres "Sila Djiguba," a piece highlighting his signature "AfrikFusion" style. Featuring 8 dancers, the work is set to DJ Dany Ramas’ "Mix."

Rounding out the evening's performances are pop-up dances by women choreographers (like Tatiana Desardouin and her Passion Fruit Dance Company) from the African diaspora–including Haiti and Jamaica.

E-Moves 2018 will be at Harlem Stage from May 2-5. For tickets go to

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