The Hylton Performing Arts Center has been working with artists to support them in their creative work during this time when they need it most. Over the past nine months, we have worked under strict safety protocols approved by George Mason University to successfully and safely produce performances for streamed viewing by audiences at a later date.
The ability to welcome this small group of artists into our spaces to record performances has been an inspiring endeavor, and among the groups who have filmed full-scale productions at the Hylton Center is Step Afrika!.
Washington D.C.-based Step Afrika!, the world’s first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, employs a polyrhythmic, percussive dance style, which is a celebrated tradition in Black fraternities and sororities; uses the body as an instrument; and integrates song, storytelling, and humor into the performance. This world-class dance ensemble recently filmed its Magical Musical Holiday Step Show in the Gregory Family Theater. As a 2020-2021 virtual Artist-in-Residence, Step Afrika! will bring its trademark percussive style to Hylton at Home through this highly-anticipated, pre-recorded holiday special available for viewing free-of-charge on Wednesday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. Information about how to watch the event is shared on this Hylton Center webpage . One week prior to this family-friendly performance, a short video for families and children to learn the fundamentals of stepping will be available for viewing.
In spring 2021 Step Afrika! will participate in a variety of engagement events with Mason students and local community members. The residency will focus on expanding knowledge about the world of stepping; a stepping history and technique workshop with Mason School of Dance and National Pan-Hellenic Council students; and Step Afrika!’s engagement in a livestreamed digital conversation as part of Hylton at Home and Mason Arts at Home.
Before Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show, subscribers from the 19-20 season as well as current Friends of the Center for the Arts ($150+) and Friends of the Hylton Center ($150+) are invited to an exclusive Artists in Conversation featuring C. Brian Williams, Founder and Executive Director of Step Afrika!. Details for how to join the conversation will be emailed prior to the performance. Interested in special benefits such as these? Become a Friend.