In today’s podcast, C. Brian Williams talks about the art of stepping—defining and historicizing the art form and discussing its deep connection to African-American fraternities and sororities. (He learned to step when he was accepted into a fraternity at Howard University). He talks about the creation of Step Afrika! which began in 1994 as a dance festival in South Africa and grew into an education and performing arts organization and in now one of the top 10 U.S. Black dance companies, the company’s commitment to education (all dancers are expected to be teaching artists) and its dedication to cultural exchange. He also discusses the company’s commitment to bring the art form to as many people as possible and its creation of choreography that fits as easily in a school auditorium as it does on a Broadway stage. C. Brian Williams also discusses the significance of traditional arts globally and its ability to open a window into the soul of a nation.
Join us online on November 17 when we premier the documentary called “Roots of American Culture” a celebration of the artistry of all the 2022 National Heritage Fellows. Check out our website arts.gov for more details.