Although attendees came to Klyde Warren Park in Dallas for a performance from Dance Africa, they were easily transported to the motherland with the captivating music and invigorating dances that embodied the event’s befitting name and purpose–Rhythms of Unity: Celebrating in Harmony. 

Photo credit: Amitava Sarkar

Presented by Texas Commission on the Arts, this outdoor festival offered patrons an evening of dancing from various groups ranging in age along with opportunities to support local vendors. Each group exemplified a unique display of what encompasses the authenticity of unification through culture. 

Arrays of colorful clothing flickered in the space as the groups painted an eye-catching picture for audience members using African music. Dancers from the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and DBDT: Encore! And Dallas gave life into the space with their powerful movements. Each step told a story of what makes the motherland beautiful and why this representation is needed for the community. 

The instruments melodically tied the whole performance together providing a rhythmic journey for audience members to follow. However, instruments weren’t the only musical tools that added the soul to the performance. Beautiful voices from the Desoto A Capella Choir brought some new energy to the space as they used their singing to produce a unified sound that left the crowd wanting more. 

Photo credit : Amitava Sarkar

This performance had a variety of performers ranging in age. The Council of Elders, accompanied by more singing from the DBDT Choir, graced the space with the level of maturity and majesty that brings light to Black excellence. A more youthful approach to this performance was brought by special guests, dancers from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Dance Conservatory. These high schoolers gave the audience a memorable experience filled with contagious energy with each of them showing passion in each drumbeat and each jump and step. 

Forces of Nature offered patrons a naturally captivating experience that stopped time in its tracks. Their use of color and clothing left the audience in awe with the authentic flow of movements. It was almost impossible to take your eyes away for even a second. 

Photo credit : Amitava Sarkar

Dance Africa’s magical trip to the motherland reminded people of the beauty that lies within these cultures and these community displays. The light shined on Africa that night, in more ways than one.