ASASE YAA African American Dance Theater
The Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space
February 2, 2019 at 7:30pm
ASASE YAA African American Dance Theater presents DRUM LOVE on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 7:30pm at The Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, NYC 10025. Tickets are $35-50 can be purchased at https://www.symphonyspace.org/events/vp-drum-love, with special VIP packages available at www.asaseyaaent.org.
Drum Love is a classic love story, rites of passage, and coming of age tale complete with a tragic heroine, suitors, and concerned family. The work follows the time-honored format of African ballets expertly produced by the touring national companies of West African countries.
Conceived, choreographed, and directed by Artistic Director Yao Ababio, Drum Love tells the story of a young girl who falls for three artists of The Big City. She ignores warnings to avoid them and becomes involved with all three. Eventually she gets pregnant, is rejected, and realizes that she has created a situation that will bring shame to her family. In the end, she embraces the support of her family and friends. Incorporating dance, song, and live music, the completed work will engage audiences with the excitement and vigor of African dance while presenting an urban twist on traditional themes. The piece will be performed by seven dancers, five drummers, and a traditional Malian band.
Drum Love features music from Asase Yaa’s debut album (release date, 2014). The title song, “The Love” is currently being featured in noted choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s critically-acclaimed new ballet, “The Call.” It is one of the works included in the Alvin Ailey Dance Company 60th Anniversary production that was presented over the holidays at the City Center in Manhattan and is now touring in major markets throughout the country.
ABOUT THE ASASE YAA AFRICAN AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
The Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater is an international touring ensemble developed by Brooklyn based Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation. This year marks the 18th year of the program and the third year that they have been the Guest Presenter at Symphony Space. They are also two-time Bessie Award-winners.
Wherever they perform, the Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater becomes the audience’s favorite African dance and drum company, a reputation that we have worked diligently to maintain.
Our authentic and disciplined approach to the field has afforded them great opportunities in a relatively short period of time. They have had the honor of being a part of many hugely popular productions, including the VH1’s Hip Hop Honors Awards, the premiere of HBO’s Sing Your Song documentary about the life of Harry Belafonte (at the World Famous Apollo Theater), DanceAfrica New York (at the Brooklyn Academy of Music), Dance Africa Chicago, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, the Hazlett Theater in Pittsburgh, Symphony Space on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and the International African Arts Festival in Brooklyn. Around the world, the company has traveled and performed in Japan, Korea, Paris, Amsterdam, Iceland, Ghana, Guinea, Angola, and many other nations.
In the university and collegiate arena, the company has performed at New York University’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Long Island University’s Kumble Theater, and has also performed (or conducted workshops) at Arizona State University, Bucknell, Princeton, Scranton, Howard, among many others.
The Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater was founded in the summer of 2001 by Artistic Director Yao Ababio who created the esteemed company based on his love for African traditions and extensive performing arts experience. Under his leadership, the company has distinguished itself in the dance and drum world for its dynamic and high-energy performances as well as for its commitment to excellence and discipline.
THE ANNUAL DANCE AND DRUM CONCERTS
For eleven years, the company has hosted an annual concert and showcase every July. Africa, A Journey in Dance was successfully produced for seven consecutive years at the York College Performing Arts Theater in Queens, NY. Afterwards, the dance company produced and presented “An Ananse Tale” in Brooklyn, also highly successful. In 2010, a new dance concert was developed, Djembe in the New Millennium. This new concert was tremendously popular because it built upon a great legacy of African dance and drum in New York City, the hub for this genre over the past four decades. In 2011, Djembe in the New Millennium was quoted as one of the best African shows of the decade by NY1. In all, Asase Yaa Entertainment Group, LLC. has produced 17 dance and drum concerts with more than 22 of the top African dance companies in America. Conceptually, Yao’s mission was to establish a Brooklyn-based arts institution that was steeped in African philosophical values and authentic creative expressions, one that would play a critical role in bridging existing cultural gaps between the continent of Africa, the islands of the Caribbean and the United States. The first tangible manifestation of this dream was the Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater. From there, the core foundation was built.
ABOUT SYMPHONY SPACE
Symphony Space was founded in the belief that the arts bring people together, transcend barriers, and celebrate both our similarities and differences. Through adventurous and impactful programming, commissions, and conversations, Symphony Space continues to invigorate these guiding principles, creating magical moments that harness the power of the arts to engage and inspire. www.symphonyspace.org