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Chuck Davis - African American Dance Ensemble

African Roots in American Soil

Every year Dr. Chuck Davis journeys to Africa to "sit at the feet of the elders." His research on the history, music and dance of specific cultural groups enables him to choreograph African American interpretations of authentic material from Africa. Videos includes "Lamban," a Griot or historian's dance from the Old Mali Empire, circa 13th century, and "Isicathulo," a gum boot dance of the Shona, Ndebele and Zulu people in Southern Africa. Lessons feature an African folktale that is told on the audio, as well as chants, proverbs, Kwanzaa, and ways to develop leadership through dance. This unit is grounded in the universal themes of Enduring Values and The Human Family.

 

  

 

Listen to the Chuck Davis audio tracks (these may take a few seconds to load, depending on your internet speed):


"Batawasunga"

 

 

"Enkoito"

 

 

 

"Mkazi"

 

   

Listen to Paul Tracey telling the story of "Girl on the Rock":

 

If you are having issues playing back the audio track on your PC, you may need to install the QuickTime plugin, available here.


Watch the Chuck Davis introduction and video of the "Lamban" Dance:


Part 1

 

Part 2

 

Watch video of "Isicathulo" Dance:

 

Watch video of "Balante" Dance:

 

Watch video of Paul Tracey telling the story of "Girl on the Rock":

All videos, audio tracks, and artwork on this page are for educational use only and is not to be reproduced.

Credits:
Dance video footage courtesy of Chuck Davis and African American Dance Ensemble. Storytelling video and audio recording of "Girl on the Rock" courtesy of Andrew Tracey and Paul Tracey. Audio of traditional music courtesy of the International Library of African Music, Rhodes University, South Africa.

We’d like your feedback! Please email any comments, suggestions, questions, or concerns about these resources to education@musiccenter.org. Questions? Please call us at (213) 972-3392 or email ablaisdell@musiccenter.org.