Kevin McEwen (MA ’17) graduated from Steinhardt’s foundational Teaching Dance in the Professions program and was instrumental in helping to create the Dances in the African Diaspora concentration. McEwen, who teaches African and Afro-Caribbean Dance at Queensborough Community College (QCC), invited some of his students to the event to perform a Haitian folkloric dance called Nago.
“On the day of the Sankofa event, the dancers in my West African dance company, called Kofago Dance Ensemble, already had another performance scheduled, so this was a great opportunity to bring in my QCC students,” says McEwen. “With these moments, we are building a larger community that everyone can be a part of, so it was special to get these young people together and give them a chance to shine. This is just the beginning of the kind of uplifting we can do with the Dances of the African Diaspora program.”
The first of a new annual tradition, the Sankofa event was also a great demonstration of the mission of the Dances of the African Diaspora program: one of McEwen’s Kofago company dancers and one of Tribune’s high school student performers have both since been accepted into the concentration and are excited to attend NYU Steinhardt, where their mentors studied.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary last fall, NYU Steinhardt’s Dance Education program has been revolutionary since its inception.
NYU Steinhardt’s Percussion Ensemble will perform Tim Adams’ "8:46” to commemorate Black History Month. The program will also feature the world premiere of Lenny White’s "The Magnificent Seven" and a rare arrangement of Duke Ellington’s "Malletoba Spank."
This piece incorporates NY Style Mambo and Latin Jazz, both music genres and dances that emerged in the 1940s and 1950s in New York City. "Mambo Bohemio" is a romantic, energetic, and passionate piece.