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Step Afrika!: Drumfolk
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, Illinois 61801
Step Afrika!, the first professional organization dedicated to the African-American tradition of stepping, has amazed Krannert Center audiences twice before with its lightning-fast footwork, percussive chants, and incredible synchronicity. Its newest creation, Drumfolk, celebrates the early development of African-American percussive traditions including patting juba, hambone, and ring shout—leading to art forms such as tap dance and, of course, stepping. While exploring this important heritage, Drumfolk reflects on the harsh conditions in the American South that coincided with the practice of these transcendent musical forms and how the fortitude of people who were enslaved enabled the birth of new, inspiring traditions such as spirituals, field hollers, and shouts.