Step Afrika! Dance Company Debuts Their Newest Show At Penn State

Jan 30, 2020

Step Afrika! visited State College this week for the world premiere performance of their show “Drumfolk.” The travelling dance company blends modern African American “stepping” with traditional African dances. 

Stepping is a percussive style of dancing. Dancers use their body to mimic the sound of drums and clap to keep in time with the beat. Monday night, Step Afrika! gave a sneak peek of “Drumfolk” to local singing and dancing groups.

Mfon Akpan, the artistic director for Step Afrika!, said the company was excited to debut their newest performance at Penn State. 

“We’re just really ready to get it out there and have people come and experience our show,” said Akpan.

The show was inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739: the largest slave rebellion in South Carolina and by the response to that rebellion, the Negro Act of 1740, which took away from enslaved Africans the rights to assemble, read, and use drums. 

The lead percussionist for Step Afrika!, Kofi Ajai, said he is excited to be part of a show that tells the origins of African American culture.

“Being able to tell a story from then to now: how we was able to overcome and persevere obstacles and challenges and still remain,” said Ajai.

Step Afrika! will hold their world premiere performance of Drumfolk Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Eisenhower auditorium in State College.